Flood sets stall out for Friday victory

Thursday 30 November 2017 Written by: Adam

Having won four of their first five league games the Falcons have slipped in a series of defeats, the 60-times capped England fly-half confident they have what it takes to regain their rhythm.

Flood said: “Obviously as a professional outfit you never want a blip. We were on a bit of a roll earlier in the season but we’ve had a bit of a stutter in the last couple of weeks, and the frustrating thing is we have been conceding points too weakly.

“That comes down to personal diligence and guys getting their roles right, and secondly we haven’t been as dangerous and as cut-throat in attack compared to how we went during those early weeks. It’s a combination of both and it’s nice in the sense that it’s a fairly quick fix, but it makes it all the more frustrating because they’re issues and problems we could have solved on the field.”

The fly-half added: “What’s incredibly important at the moment is that the guys stay positive, and when you look at any team or any person’s career over a period of time you’ll see they have points where they drop off a bit. For example Gloucester have had their struggles but they’re coming on strong now, and it all comes down to the fact we need to make sure we’re in a good spot for Friday and moving forward.

“Maybe it’s just a sign of the fact the Aviva Premiership is so competitive now, the fact that more teams are having these hot and cold patches of form. Exeter were the champions last season but they had a slow start to the current campaign, and are now coming back.

“People were writing off Worcester but they’ve had two good wins in a row, and then conversely Northampton have had a couple of losses in succession. It’s the beauty of the Premiership in a way, and if you win four or five on the bounce you can really pull away. You can get nestled in that top four and then it’s a case of hanging on, but to do that you need the initial push.”

Setting out the challenge to his side as they head to Northampton, Flood said: “Franklin’s Gardens can be an intimidating place to play if you allow it to be, but we won there last season.

“You’ve got to quieten down the crowd early on, and they’re a big, physical side. They want to try and bully you, run round the corner and over the top of you, and from there they let their backs go.

“It’s up to us to quash Northampton’s forward momentum, and for us it holds no intimidation. It’s just another place where we have to go and perform, and if we do that we’ll be OK.”