Ford hits back over criticism
November 24, 2011
Mike Ford is coming under fresh criticism as a result of the leaked reports © Getty Images
England defence coach Mike Ford has defended his position following criticism originating from the infamous leaked reports.
With Martin Johnson already having handed in his resignation at the Rugby Football Union, the role of the other members of the coaching team is coming under fresh scrutiny. Despite having conceded one try during the World Cup pool stage, Ford's ability as a coach has been questioned with an unnamed player saying: "half the time we had no idea what he was talking about," in the reports printed yesterday in The Times.
Another player said: "Fordy's catchphrase was 'every time.' Said it over and over against but never specified what to do every time." And the criticism of Ford does not stop there with another excerpt from the three reports saying: "It was like banging your head against a brick wall. He was full of pointless stats."
But Ford has hit back at the quotes printed in The Times and emphasised that the printed quotes only accounted for part of the squad. "Yes, I'm gutted, deflated, dispirited by all this and there is a sense that it's never-ending," Ford told The Daily Telegraph. "But it's very selective. Of course, we're not happy at the way the World Cup turned out but if I felt my position was untenable, or that I'd lost the dressing room, I'd walk away. But I don't. I don't blame the players for these comments being out there. They gave them in good faith.
"But I don't think that they represent the proper view of things. It's not a balanced picture at all. The worst bits have been cherry-picked.
"There are always one or two that you don't see eye-to-eye with," continued Ford. "But we encourage players to give feedback. My own sense from general feedback is that it's been pretty positive.
"Of course you use buzzwords. 'Every time,' meant, for example, to chase each and every kick-off with the same determination and speed every time. When you're fatigued or under pressure, you need to refer to a simple phrase."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The Scotland coach enters his first Six Nations with at least one familiar face to look to for inspiration - Joe Schmidt. He chats to Tom Hamilton
Italy coach Jacques Brunel spoke to ESPN ahead of his final season as Italy coach and tells of his desire to experiment and evolve
"There's no bull with me, I just tell it straight." Tom Hamilton talks to Warren Gatland in an exclusive interview
With the retirement of Adam Jones, Welsh rugby says goodbye to a great player and one of its biggest personalities too, writes Tom Hamilton