I came to win – White

Date published: January 2 2015

Montpellier consultant Jake White wants his new side to believe again as he looks to turn things around at the struggling Top 14 outfit.

The club currently sit in eighth position, two points off the play-off places, after a recent 27-6 defeat on the road to bottom side Castres.

But for White, at his first press conference since taking on the role, he thinks keeping things simple will be critical to his side’s revival.

“The important thing for Montpellier now is to go back to the basics,” he told AFP.

“The players were a little bit down in confidence – it’s natural when you’re not winning, the players obviously lose confidence – so for me it’s about going back to basics and getting things right again, and more importantly to enjoy it.”

He added that supposed talk of his team being afraid to play their own game hasn’t been a contributing factor in their poor form so far this term.

“How can you be afraid to play rugby? It’s like anyone here [in the press conference] afraid to be a journalist – it’s crazy! For me, we must just go and play,” he said.

“I think what the players are saying is ‘we’re afraid if we don’t have direction’.

“I think that’s the challenge for coaches. They [the players] must express themselves, they must be able to enjoy themselves and not be afraid to make mistakes.

“But they must also be allowed, from the coaching point of view, to get some direction, and that’s generally what I’ve tried to sell to them in the last couple of days.”

And his plan for turning things around?

“To win! That’s why I came here, I came to win. That’s why I get up in the morning, I want to win. If I don’t believe, it’s impossible for the players to believe,” said White.

“It’s like anything, I think the president [Mohed Altrad] knows he has the personnel that wants to win, that’s the bottom line.

“It’s easy for me, I can be in the south of France, I can act as though I’m on holiday, I can take tomorrow off, but I’m not like that.

“Rene Ranger, Ben Mowen, Anthony Tuitavake, the overseas-based players playing in France, Wynand Olivier, they’re not on holiday, they’re here to produce for the club.

“Last year Montpellier came second and this year they have the same players, maybe one or two better players. I think it’s difficult because of where we are in the log, but it must be possible.

“There are enough games left for us to get it right. Once you make the play-offs, anything is possible.

“I have to believe it otherwise I might as well stop now.”