Cueto admits England are feeling the pressure to get back to winning ways

MARK CUETO admitted England are under immense pressure to beat Argentina in today’s showdown at Twickenham and save their autumn international series from near disaster.

England head into the Pumas clash on the back of an 18-9 defeat to Australia which saw Martin Johnson’s men slip to their lowest ever ranking of eighth in the world.

And with the might of New Zealand due at Twickenham on November 21, Cueto knows England cannot afford to suffer a second straight defeat to the Pumas.

England drew their summer Test series 1-1 with Argentina but Cueto acknowledges the English rugby public will arrive at Twickenham tomorrow demanding a victory.

“There is huge pressure this week,” said the Sale Sharks winger. “This is a game that people expect us to win. That is not always the way you want to go into a game.

“The All Blacks is a huge game regardless – but to be going into it having played two and lost two is certainly not where we want to be.

“We need to pick up from the first half against the Aussies, build on that and go in to this weekend improving and confident.

“With the quality of the players we have got, the quality of the Premiership and the structures we have in this country, eighth is not acceptable and we are desperate to improve that.”

England have just five victories from 12 Tests since Martin Johnson took hands-on control in the autumn of 2008 and their record against the leading southern hemisphere opposition is poor.

In six Tests against Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and Argentina, England have managed just one victory, against the Pumas at Old Trafford in June.

Despite being the best-resourced union in the world, allowing the Rugby Football Union to fork out millions of pounds for better access to their players, England’s performance against the Wallabies was described by assistant coach John Wells as “turgid”.

But Cueto is confident that having that game under their belt will help England, who have made four changes in a bid to inject some urgency and dynamism into the side.

Argentina arrive at Twickenham without playmakers Juan Martin Hernandez and Felipe Contepomi, but Juan Fernandez Lobbe, the Toulon loose forward and club-mate of Jonny Wilkinson, said: “We have the mentality that we know we can do it.

“It could be a great opportunity to make that big step forward and become a solid team. We still have a young team here but Argentina have done amazing things in the last few years and that gives you confidence.”

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