England should be harder on themselves - Fitzpatrick

England coach Stuart Lancaster
England have lost 11 and drawn one of their last 12 games against South Africa
Autumn international - England v Samoa
Date: Saturday 22 November Kick-off: 19:00 GMT Venue: Twickenham
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live and full live text commentary online.

Former New Zealand captain Sean Fitzpatrick believes England need to be more open when it comes to being critical of their own performances.

England were beaten by South Africa on Saturday and have now lost five consecutive Tests.

Coach Stuart Lancaster insisted after the defeat and before facing Samoa on Saturday that his team will not panic.

"They should be a bit harder on themselves in terms of what they're saying publicly," said Fitzpatrick.

"But in the context of where they were three years ago I think they've made huge strides."

Highlights: England 28-31 South Africa

The defeat by the Proteas came after a loss to New Zealand seven days earlier, with both games taking place at England's home ground of Twickenham.

"It's a good thing the fans are concerned," added Fitzpatrick, who was speaking at an IRB World Rugby Conference in London.

"England are expected to win now and we were under the general belief England were going in the right direction.

"I still think they are, but the fact the fans are upset is a healthy sign."

England will host the World Cup next year and, despite having home advantage, Fitzpatrick says the wins for the southern hemisphere sides over England will give them a psychological edge for the tournament.

"It's important for the All Blacks to know they can win at Twickenham," said the former hooker, who won the 1987 World Cup with the All Blacks and captained the team from 1992 to 1997.

"And the flip-side as well is South Africa winning again at Twickenham, where they have such a good record."

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