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Mike Ford gives Tigers assessment

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'It's a lonely place at the head of a rugby club; I know as I've been there'

Mike Ford believes Leicester have the talent and desire to fight off the threat of relegation.

The former Bath and Toulon boss, who has also coached with England, Ireland and the British and Irish Lions, has been hired by Tigers head coach Geordan Murphy as a coach and consultant for the remaining five matches of the season.

Leicester are currently 10th in the Gallagher Premiership table and in danger of going down, following a run of eight defeats in 11 games.

“It’s just a case of small margins, they’re not far off. What I see is a world-class squad,” said Ford, whose son George plays at fly-half for Tigers.

“I’ve been here a few days and seen the way they analyse and prepare and it is up there, it’s just a case of a different pair of eyes.

“Lack of confidence is a huge thing and you get that back by training well. They are good enough players to recognise that.

“Sometimes when you’re down you can’t see the wood for the trees. It’s a lonely place at the head of a rugby club; I know as I’ve been there.

“I have been friends with Geordan for a long time and I can guide him. I have come in to oversee things and help Geordan.”

Leicester face Premiership leaders Exeter at Welford Road on Saturday. It was a 40-6 defeat at Sandy Park on the opening weekend of the season that prompted Tigers to sack Matt O’Connor. He was replaced by Murphy, initially on a temporary basis.

“Whatever has gone on has gone on now and we have got five games left and we are excited about the way we want to play against Exeter,” said Ford.

“We’ve got a great opportunity to play the top of the league and show what we are about.”

PA

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'It's a lonely place at the head of a rugby club; I know as I've been there'