James Ford believes Featherstone Rovers can ‘become a better team’ as Championship play-offs approach

James Ford has delivered an ominous warning to Featherstone Rovers’ Championship play-off rivals by insisting his side can ‘become a better team’ over the last few weeks of the season.
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After clinching the league leaders’ shield at Bradford Bulls on Sunday, all eyes at Fev immediately turned to a Grand Final victory on Sunday, October 15.

Ford, the club’s interim head coach who has now overseen three consecutive wins since Sean Long’s departure last month, said:

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Promotion. Winning it. Anything other than that is not good enough. I think we are a really big, strong, physical, powerful team that is hard to manage.

Featherstone Rovers' interim head coach, James Ford. (Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com)Featherstone Rovers' interim head coach, James Ford. (Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com)
Featherstone Rovers' interim head coach, James Ford. (Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com)

“We have got some blokes who can turn games individually. As we fine tune our shape and execution and tidy up our discipline I am sure we will become an even better team.

“We have probably invested more resources into our team than any other side in the competition and that’s why I want to thank the owner, the board and the sponsors because they obviously drive that.”

Rovers have three games of the regular season still to play, starting with an away trip to Newcastle Thunder on Friday, September 8, kick off 8pm. They then travel to France to take on second-place Toulouse before finishing the campaign with a home game against Widnes Vikings - two teams Fev could meet at some stage in the play-offs.

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Asked how he will approach the remaining games, Ford replied:

“For the last two we will probably have to look at picking our best available 17 that are going to play in the semi-final at home.

“We have got some experienced and mature players in our team who may, or may not, need looking after this week; Newcastle is on a 3G pitch as well which can have an impact on a person’s wellness and recovery.”

But is the club’s former director of rugby enjoying his new role as interim head coach?

“I am enjoying it,” he said. “I think the role suits me and I am working well with the players and I am looking forward to helping the team improve.”