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Aviva Premiership
Gold: The battle for survival is on
ESPNscrum Staff
January 19, 2012
Gary Gold takes in his new surroundings at the Falcons, Kingston Park, Newcastle, January 18, 2012
Gary Gold faces a mission to keep the Falcons in the Premiership © Getty Images
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Gary Gold is going to look to the 'spine' of the Newcastle Falcons to ensure they avoid the drop although he is quick to emphasise that he is not going to offer "unrealistic guarantees to anybody".

The Falcons' predicament is fairly bleak as they sit at the foot of the Aviva Premiership and are nine points off nearest rivals Wasps, who currently reside in eleventh. And previous boss Alan Tait has been given leave from the Premiership side as the Falcons management look to avoid the drop. But Gold, who has recently taken the helm at Kingston Park alongside Mike Ford, claims that certain players will be at the forefront of his plans to keep the Falcons in England's top division.

"I am certainly not going to over-promise and under-deliver," Gold told Chronicle Live. "I am not coming here offering unrealistic guarantees to anybody, but I have a lot of hope in this group of players and I really do enjoy Newcastle as a club. I like what it stands for, and I like the owner.

"There are a handful of world-class players pretty much throughout the spine of the team. There are good front-row men like Jonny Golding coming back from injury, and in Euan Murray we have a truly world-class tight-head prop.

"I coached the Springboks against the British &Irish Lions, and I can tell you that we were not sad to see Euan leave the tour when he had to fly home through injury. He was sorely missed by them, then you have a fellow experienced Scot like Ally Hogg in the back-row, a world-class fly-half in Jimmy Gopperth and a dangerous back three."

And although he remains hesitant in promising Falcons fans Premiership survival, Gold is adamant that they will give it the best shot possible. "I downloaded the recent games against Northampton and Exeter before I flew out this week, and it has been interesting to have a look at them," he said. "I do not think there is one overall area where I can say it is resoundingly wrong here, and it seems to be a bit of tweaking in three or four areas which will hopefully lead to us making a difference."

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