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Mike Ford backs Leicester Tigers to avoid relegation after joining as coach

‘What I see is a world-class squad’: Mike Ford backs Leicester to avoid relegation after joining as coach

  • Leicester have hired Mike Ford as senior coach in attempt to avoid relegation 
  • The former Bath head coach believes the club possess a world-class squad 
  • Ford will assist head coach Geordan Murphy until the end of the season 

Leicester’s new fire-fighting coach Mike Ford is convinced the Tigers are too good to go down, as he attempts to douse the flames around Welford Road.

The most successful club in English rugby history – with 10 league titles and two European Cup wins – are five points above Newcastle at the bottom of the Premiership with five games to go.

Ford, 53, who has coached at Toulon, in the USA and with the German national team since being sacked by Bath in 2016, joined Leicester as a ‘coaching consultant’ this week to assist head coach Geordan Murphy in the fight against a shock relegation.

Mike Ford (left) has been brought in to assist Leicester head coach Geordan Murphy (right)

And despite the fact that a squad containing Manu Tuilagi, George Ford, Jonny May, Dan Cole, Ellis Genge and Ben and Tom Youngs have lost 16 of their last 19 fixtures in all competitions, Ford Snr is sure the slump will end just in time.

He said: ‘We have got world class players across the board. That is why I believe Leicester won’t get relegated.

‘But if we think all we’ve got to do is turn up and we’ll be fine, then we’ll be in trouble.

‘Leicester are a big club and maybe a bit of pressure has built up. I’ve got to free everyone up.’

Murphy, 40, insisted it was his decision to bring Ford in at this late stage of the season.

Ford has met with the Irishman – who remains the top man – consistently throughout the season and has watched lots of matches at Welford Road, when his sons George and Joe play.

Ford believes that Leicester have a world-class squad of players and can stay up

Ford believes that Leicester have a world-class squad of players and can stay up

Ford believes that Leicester have a world-class squad of players and can stay up

‘We’ve been under the pump, down the bottom end of the season in a little bit of mire,’ said Murphy who is preparing Leicester to face top side Exeter this Saturday.

‘We needed a bit of a kick. To bring in someone with as much knowledge and experience is great for us. It was a no-brainer.

‘The season’s been really tough for me. As a first time head coach there’s a lot of things you don’t have the answer to.

‘A lot of people have talked about relegation and looking down. We’ve got an unbelievable playing group, confidence has been a little bit low.

‘But if it clicks I think no-one will be talking about relegation, they’ll be talking about something else.’

The Tigers have lost 16 of their last 19 fixtures in all competitions to fall down the table

The Tigers have lost 16 of their last 19 fixtures in all competitions to fall down the table

The Tigers have lost 16 of their last 19 fixtures in all competitions to fall down the table

Ford is up for the challenge and is sure the father-son dynamic with England fly-half George will not be an issue.

‘When I left Bath I couldn’t run away fast enough from the Premiership because it is a tough old gig,’ he said.

‘It is now great to be back.

‘This time it is completely different – George is established in world rugby and I am not the boss; Geordan picks the team.’

Saracens will play one marquee match a season at Tottenham’s new White Hart Lane ground from 2020, after signing a five-year partnership with the Premier League side

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