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Wales hoping to pile pressure on Johnson

Wales will pile the pressure on England manager Martin Johnson if they win next month's RBS Six Nations showdown at Twickenham.

But Wales coach Warren Gatland hopes Johnson's Twickenham bosses afford the same patience to their World Cup-winning captain as they did one of his illustrious predecessors -- Clive Woodward.

England have lost eight of their 14 Tests under Johnson's direction. And Wales will arrive in southwest London on February 6 targeting a third successive victory over England -- a feat they last achieved more than 20 years ago.

While Wales must go into battle without either of their injured Lions scrum-halves, Mike Phillips and Dwayne Peel, Gatland's 35-man squad still boasts enough firepower to make life painful for Johnson.

But, in a general assessment, Gatland said: "I hope England give him some time. Woodward was given a lot of time, with some ups and downs.

"It has been tough for Martin. Everyone knows what a great player he's been. He was given an opportunity to coach international rugby and he probably thought it was a chance he thought he could not turn down."

"This is a huge game for both sides," said Gatland. "A victory for either team will give a huge amount of confidence and give you a chance to win the Six Nations Championship."

And Gatland wants his players to start coping with being favourites -- as and when that tag is pinned on them this season.

"The Welsh love to be underdogs," he added. "At times we still struggle to cope with the favourites' tag and sometimes we struggle under the expectation of winning.

"The Irish have crossed that bridge, and I know that, having been involved there and spoken to a lot of their players.

"They look at the Welsh players and think they might be better physically and skilfully, but are they mentally as strong as the Irish?

"It is something we have to look at, and not be afraid to talk about the 'winning' word, which we tend to shy away from."