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Kellock believes Johnson appointment can lift Scots' spirits

Al Kellock last night claimed that the national team could be set to bounce back under new management just as they did during his first full season in Test rugby.

The Glasgow Warriors captain, who announced yesterday that he has agreed a deal to keep him at the club until the end of his career, welcomed the confirmation of Scott Johnson's appointment as Scotland's head coach for the forthcoming RBS 6 Nations Championship.

In particular, he feels it is important that the Australian is not coming in cold as he seeks to turn things around following Scotland's second "whitewash" campaign of 2012.

"In my opinion, I think it's a good thing that he's got a bit of knowledge of the squad, albeit he has only been involved for just six games," Kellock reckoned.

"He'll have instant knowledge of what's required to turn things around and I believe that's a real positive."

He drew comparison with the situation when Frank Hadden, under whom Kellock started his professional career with Edinburgh, took charge of the national team in 2005.

Following Matt Williams' two dreadful years in charge which produced just a single RBS 6 Nations Championship win in 10 attempts and just three wins in 17 overall, Hadden had been appointed initially on a two-match caretaker basis for the meetings with the Barbarians and then Romania in the summer of 2005.

He then took over on a full- time basis for the 2005/06 campaign and knew what was required to get improved performances out of a moderate group of players that was previously being asked .

"I believe things can change quickly," said Kellock, who had been capped once by Williams in 2004 but only established himself as a regular squad member once Hadden was in charge.

"I've always said that the hardest thing to achieve is finding consistency of performance and Scott has been involved with us through highs such as beating Australia back in the summer and what happened in Aberdeen in our last match.

"However, you only have to look back to 2006 when Frank, who had a real understanding of the Scottish game, took over to see what can be done. That was the last time we finished as high as third in the Six Nations with wins over England and France.

"We are all disappointed with what has happened and know that what has happened has been unacceptable, so I'd like to see a reaction like that this season."

Having started both those matches that season when Scotland ended a six-year losing run against England and beat France for the only time this millennium, Kellock is more aware than most of what is required and he has liked what he has seen of Johnson so far.

"I enjoy the way he works. He is very relaxed away from the rugby environment but it gets very intense when it should be," he said.

Johnson's appointment adds an extra dimension to tonight's meeting of Glasgow and Edinburgh at Scotstoun Stadium, the first of the two festive derbies, but Kellock said he and his players must ensure that they are not distracted by the implications for individuals of these matches.

"I try not to talk about it too much but there is a trial aspect to the derby matches. It will be at the back of everyone's mind, but that is where it should because there are more important things that should be motivating us for these matches," he said.

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