Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Fizzing Foden back on form - Dickens

Ben Foden, pictured, is back to his best, according to Northampton coach Alan Dickens

Northampton coach Alan Dickens feels England discard Ben Foden is getting back to his best after he set up the winning try in a 25-23 win over Bath at Franklin's Gardens.

Foden has struggled to regain his top form since needing an operation on an ankle injury earlier in the season and he was rested by England two weeks ago, but he returned against Worcester and looked somewhere near his best as he fizzed around the Franklin's Gardens pitch.

Dickens, acting backs coach and academy manager, said: "Ben is better, he is looking after himself during the week and was good. The backs looked better, the pitch was hard, it was a good surface and that is what backs like."

He added: "Ben is training, but he is looking after his ankle as well. He is looking good, but I think it is one of those injuries that has needed managing along the way."

The four points keep Northampton's challenge for a Premiership play-off place intact and after losing at home to Gloucester last week, Dickens was pleased with how the side have responded, following up last week's win at Worcester with victory over an in-form Bath team.

"We scored two good tries in the outside channels, so I am pleased," said Dickens. "But I was pleased with all the team.

"I am looking after the backs and the attack as well at the moment, but the defence was good as well. The desire and commitment from our lads to get back and make Bath make that extra pass or force a mistake was superb."

Bath defence coach Mike Ford was pleased with how his side came back from 20-9 down to lead with 10 minutes to go and felt the spirit was tremendous in an exciting finish.

"We were 20-9 down but the lads never gave up," said Ford. "We knew the players wouldn't stop fighting and we got two tries to go in front.

"It was pretty disappointing to concede a second, but it was a great game, the breakdown was a real contest and it is small margins in the end."