Ford admitted: “Clearly, the result is the most important thing for us at the moment. The feeling is more relief than happiness.
“I’m really proud of the boys. It’s such a tough game to come up here and I’m really proud they were able to see it through.
“Obviously, at the end, it could have gone either way and we’re not kidding ourselves. The forwards got us out of a tough end in terms of stopping them scoring and getting the result.
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“We raced away into a 13-0 lead and then let them back into it. When we stick to our stuff and execute we are a good team but we really need to do it consistently.
“Nothing changes really because in two week’s time we’ve got to beat Bristol, but winning this one means there is a better vibe in the changing room and it gives us confidence and momentum.
“There has been a lot of talk about where we are in the league and relegation but it’s a not a word that has come into our vocabulary or in meetings. We’ve always said there is 20 points available from the last five games and we’ve got four of them tonight.
“We’re looking to get better and improve. Once you start looking behind you, you tend to get caught in it even more.
“Newcastle were never going to stop coming at us and I said to the forwards what they did at the end of the game was totally inspiring.
“They kept getting up off the ground and going again and the fight they showed for each other is sometimes what gets you the result and that’s what happened when we got the penalty at the end.”
Newcastle, who lost out on a losing bonus point in a controversial TMO decision last week, probably feel the same with regard to Leicester’s final try by Guy Thompson which was also decided by the TMO.
They were also on the wrong end of some questionable decisions by referee Wayne Barnes close to the end of the match.
Tane Takulua also got two tries for Newcastle and kicked three goals, with the home side’s other try coming from Chris Harris.
Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards was pleased with the way his side responded after a slow start.
He said: “The first 20 minutes they were all over us and controlling the territory but from there on in it was us who controlled everything.
“But we could not get over the line as much as we would have liked and the interception try cost us a bit of momentum. Then we clawed it back and we probably should have won it.
“There were a number of decisions at the end and Leicester have some wily characters in Genge and Cole and we probably didn’t get the rub of the green from a scrummaging point of view because we weren’t allowed to scrummage against them.
“Towards the end, we probably should have nicked it but accuracy cost us again and we have to look at that.
“Another try at the end there would have given us three points or possibly four or five, but I’ve said all along it will come down to the last game of the season.
“We dominated the game for the final 60 minutes and it was just a question of us getting across the line. The three tries we scored were lovely tries and were an example of that but we have to learn how to do it every time.
“We are in control of our own destiny and we’re not going to be reliant on anyone else’s results. There is still a long way to go yet in this season.”
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