Blackadder defends Ford after Newcastle showing

Date published: January 7 2017

George Ford's poor performance in Bath's defeat to Newcastle was not caused by the uncertainty surrounding his future at the club, says Todd Blackadder.

Ford had a disappointing night with the boot, missing four kicks at goal and succeeding with only three. He has a buy-out clause in his contract despite having a deal in place until 2018.

"I don't think that's an excuse at all," Blackadder said after his side surrendered a 22-10 lead to lose 24-22 to the Falcons.

"George prepared really well, but at times players are going to have these games. He's a class player, he just didn't have a great night by his standards. He'll bounce back next week, I have no doubt about that."

Bath are still fourth in the Premiership despite having lost their last three games.

"I'm just really disappointed that we couldn't close out the game," Blackadder said.

"It was a big game for us, so I'm disappointed with the way that we started. We fought our way back into it after a terrible first half. We're missing that ruthless edge when it really counts, to be clinical and do our basics well under a bit of pressure.

"We shouldn't have come away with a loss like that tonight. Two games in a row we've sort of had control of the game and let it slip. It's just not good enough. I think the guys are mentally tough, it's just skill execution – carrying the ball and turning inside with no support, a poor clean-out, a dropped ball.

"We left a lot of points out there as well, and at times it felt like we were beating ourselves. In the last 15, 20 minutes we were really passive on D (defence), which is just not good enough."