England World Cup fallout
Ford hits back over criticism
ESPNscrum Staff
November 24, 2011
England's Mike Ford addresses journalists, Auckland, New Zealand, September 25, 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."

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