Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

Hetherington offers Back backing

Neil Back (left) and Andy Key

Leeds chief executive Gary Hetherington rubbished reports that head coach Neil Back was facing the sack after Sunday's 51-18 defeat to Harlequins.

Hetherington insisted that the board are backing their management, despite the fact that they have nine defeats from nine to show from a very difficult season.

He said: "You can do without that type of reporting. It was claimed to come from 'a source close to the club', but there are no sources close to the club. There's just the club and we are all in this together."

Hetherington added: "There will be no knee-jerk reactions from us. We are committed to doing what we did last season, which was a tremendous fightback in the second half of the season to achieve safety.

"We are seven points adrift, but there is a lot of rugby to be played yet. I'm the chief executive and I am saying that we are working together to improve and turn this situation around."

Leeds rugby director Andy Key said: "We are massively disappointed because we have come here, scored two tries yet leave empty-handed. Why? Because of our own basic errors.

"To get off to a good start only to ship an intercept try makes life tough immediately, and then we fell so far behind due to errors that you know the way back is a steep climb.

"The history of this season so far is littered with our basic errors proving so costly. It just means our efforts have to be stepped up even further.

"It's great to hear Gary say what he said, because when you read stuff like that about Backy it just does not help anyone.

"We have always felt that the board are behind us, which is a great help when you are struggling. There have been some positives from every game. It is just a case of us getting that breakthrough win and the confidence levels rocket upwards."