Davies 'not happy' with Gloucester season
March 9, 2014
Nigel Davies is confident of big improvements for Gloucester next season © Getty Images
Gloucester head coach Nigel Davies has admitted that he's "not happy" with the club's 2013-14 campaign, but remains adamant that he is the man to lead the team forward next season.
Speaking to the Rugby Paper, Davies conceded that his side has fallen short in key areas, but points out this summer's incoming squad additions as being critical to their improvement in 2014-15.
"We're not happy; we should be breaking into that top four but we're nowhere near. Last season we made an impact and improved from 2011-12, but we probably papered over the cracks and have to change things," Davies told the paper. "We've identified three key areas: our goal-kicking, which at 60% is very low; our scrum, which has been hugely disappointing; and our defence, probably a by-product of a set piece constantly under pressure."
Despite their shortcomings this season, the Gloucester board continue to put their faith in Davies' ability as coach. After 16 games, the Cherry and Whites sit ninth in the Premiership table, 22 points away from fourth-place Leicester Tigers, having won just five of those matches.
"Fundamentally, it all starts with me - preparation, tactics, messages we send out - and there's a strategy now in place. I'll drive those plans and they've been approved by the board. It's my strategy and a lot of the players we've recruited, like John Afoa, Richard Hibbard and Greig Laidlaw, are based on it. There'll be more additions, too, and I'm confident it can be turned around quickly."
Davies' comments come a week after namesake Phil Davies was forced to resign as Cardiff Blues' director of rugby, a fate that the Gloucester counterpart is confident of avoiding.
"It's disappointing for Phil. He's a good friend and good man. But the pressures on coaches are huge, there's high stakes now. But for me, it's always about the supporters and doing what's right for them, because they're the people you want to make happy.
"Part of the reason for coming to Gloucester is the tradition and I want to come up to their mark. There's nowhere better than Kingsholm when you're playing in front of big crowds and winning, and whilst I understand completely the financial pressures, I'm desperate to do well for the fans and deliver what they expect."
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