England 26-12 Scotland, Six Nations Championship, March 21
Hadden laments lack of resources
March 22, 2009
Scotland coach Frank Hadden watches his side warm-up, England v Scotland, Six Nations Championship, Twickenham, England, March 21, 2009
Scotland coach Frank Hadden faces a review board with his Scottish Rugby employers next month © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Frank Hadden
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Under-fire Scotland coach Frank Hadden believes he has a squad capable of winning the Six Nations Championship despite having managed just two wins in their last 13 matches in the competition.

Scotland's 26-12 defeat in their Calcutta Cup clash with England at Twickenham yesterday heaped pressure on Hadden who faces a review board with Scottish Rugby Union officials next month.

A victory over strugglers Italy is all that the Scots have to reflect upon from the Championship and once again Hadden has failed to reach the two-win target set by his employers. However, the 54-year-old remains confident his side have what it takes to go all the way in the tournament, all things being equal in terms of player preparation time.

"I honestly believe that we can win the championship with this squad," he said. "It's not a level playing field and we'd love it to be more of one," he added, referring to the International Rugby Board regulation which has allowed those countries with more money to enter into agreements for the release of players from their clubs.

"It's not all about preparation, but you could say that Ireland and Wales (the two teams who contested the championship decider) are the two best-prepared teams because they have unquestionably had the longest time together over the last few years.

"The fact that they have the control over the players they do makes life much easier for them. The two teams with the poorest preparation are at the wrong end of the championship. That's a fact.

"There's absolutely no doubt. England have had eight weeks continuous preparation, whereas our guys have been going back and forward. Of course we've made progress because we've been together off and on, but it's got to be easier when you are together all that time. I know that for a fact because that's the way it used to be when I first started.

"After the World Cup I told everyone I was considering whether I could take this team on. The main reason I was thinking that was because of the preparation time.

"One win out of five is obviously disappointing," he said. "We put ourselves in a position with 10 minutes to go against England where a really special upset was on the cards.

"You can't hide from the fact that we haven't won enough matches to be where we want to be, but it is extremely tough winning international rugby matches - the competition is white-hot and the margins are tiny.

"Ultimately we believe in the quality and the depth of the squad and we believe in the way we are preparing for matches. If that's judged not to be good enough we take that on the chin. I am proud of the progress we have made. We were the youngest team at the last World Cup and that was just two years ago. There is plenty of opportunity for this young squad to develop.

"I couldn't have been more excited about the opportunity this week. We felt we were starting to look slick in training, we were starting to show that we knew what we were trying to achieve. But I can't hide behind results. There are plenty of ways to measure progress, but ultimately that is the way the fans will measure it. I fully accept that."

Captain Mike Blair commented, "It's obviously frustrating when some teams get the time to be together and some don't. We as players have just got to get on with the cards we're dealt. We did start off slowly and it would have been nice to be together to deal with some of the issues arising.

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