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Duncan Hodge hoping short-term success brings long-term chance at Edinburgh helm

Published 04/10/2016

Duncan Hodge took over at Edinburgh on a caretaker basis last week
Duncan Hodge took over at Edinburgh on a caretaker basis last week

Interim Edinburgh head coach Duncan Hodge admits it would be a dream come true if he was to be handed the Murrayfield reins full-time.

The former Scotland fly-half took over the side on a caretaker basis last week after Alan Solomons quit.

The South African had been in charge of the capital club for three years but walked away after admitting he had taken the club as far as he could.

Hodge - who spent nine years with Edinburgh as player over two spells - has now been given his opportunity to prove he can make more of an impact and the 42-year-old is determined to take it.

He told Press Association Sport: "I would love to (do the job long term) - but I can't control that decision.

"I'm just trying to get some results on the pitch. We're making some changes and will see where we go from there.

"It's still all too early for that stuff and my focus has been nowhere else this week than on Friday night at home to Benetton Treviso. That's a very short-term view but for now that's the way it has to be.

"The biggest thing I can do to help this team right now is to help it get results.

"But becoming a head coach is part of the plan I have for myself. As soon as you get involved in this side of the game, you realise that's what you want to do.

"I've lived in Edinburgh for most of my life, played for the club and I'm hugely passionate about it. I'd like to think I could make a difference.

"Is it the dream job? Yeah. I'm hugely honoured to even have it on an interim basis. All I can do is the best I can to try and get some more out of these players. Hopefully that will see a change in fortunes."

Hodge admits Edinburgh underachieved during Solomons' spell in charge.

While inter-city rivals Glasgow became the first Scottish side to lift silverware when they were crowned PRO12 champions in 2015, the best Edinburgh could manage was an eighth-place finish.

But the new man in charge does not think the problems at Murrayfield are unsolvable.

"There's been bits of good and bits of bad," admitted Hodge. "In a number of different areas we are letting teams off the hook too easily.

"In terms of the league position, has the team been where the SRU and Edinburgh want it to be over the last three years? No, it hasn't.

"Every club wants to be up there competing at the end of the season. That's the aim and the vision.

"But at the minute it's about small steps.

"I'm now trying to identify the reasons why things (have not worked at Edinburgh) and potentially change them. But we can't do it overnight and I'll have to pick and choose my battles."

Solomons did lead the club to its first-ever European final, losing out to Gloucester in the Challenge Cup last year.

And Hodge believes the former Southern Kings coach did not get the success his efforts deserved.

He said: "I haven't spoken to Alan since he left but I'd like to keep in touch with him because he's an incredible man.

"He's a very good coach. I've never met someone with more drive than him. He was so passionate about Edinburgh but had a tough job to do when he came in. I think we'd all agree he did a great job over his time here."

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