George Skivington on his online critics, CEO’s vote of confidence


Gloucester under fire coach George Skeffington has responded to recent online criticism and the vote of confidence he received at the start of this week from the club's chief executive Alex Brown. The Cherry and Whites were humiliated last Saturday at Northampton, losing 90-0 in a devastating 14-try defeat.

Many fans described the loss to Franklin Gardens as the last straw in a miserable season in which they won just four of their 17 Premier League matches, leaving them ninth in the 10-team competition.

However, Gloucester will take part in the EPCR Challenge Cup final against the Sharks on May 24, looking to add a second title to the Premiership Rugby Cup they won in March – the club's first title since 2015.

Sharks defense coach Joey Mongalo gives an update on the injured World Cup winners ahead of the Euro grand final

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Sharks defense coach Joey Mongalo gives an update on the injured World Cup winners ahead of the Euro grand final

This upcoming final at Tottenham was the reason Skeffington decided to send an understrength side to Northampton, but the questionable manner of the loss saw them come under pressure from fans.

The coach, who lives locally in Gloucester, admitted he was not on social media but was aware of what was said. “There is a very good media team here, so I am kept up to date with everything,” he explained.

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“But let's be realistic about social media in my humble opinion, if we finish seventh in the league it won't be fun either.

“The result this weekend is not pretty but you have to do what you think is right and we made that decision. I'm disappointed with the margin. I really thought we were going to be at the minimum level of competitiveness.

“I won't be joining social media anytime soon, that's for sure, but I'm up to date and I understand why people are upset. I'm not against it at all.

“But there are a lot more layers to what happens at club rugby than just what ends up happening at the weekend. That's what I deal with in the background.”

“Some weeks we failed in the Premier League; We have failed many times. This will be under review in the off-season for sure.

“We have recruited well to be stronger in areas that let us down earlier in the year, and I have to do a really good off-season review and see how we will be more competitive in the Premier League next year, which I am very interested in. I am confident that we will be .

“I don't begrudge anyone's opinion. This is no drama for me. But I stay focused on what I have to do and live for Gloucester Rugby every day. I just do what I think is best.”

Switch to Support given to him by CEO Brown During an interview with BBC Radio Gloucestershire, Skeffington added: “These decisions we make we all make together. I don't make decisions and run off on my own and say “this is what we do.”

“We're assessing the risk of that happening and this could happen. Again, none of us saw Saturday happen but we're assessing where we are, working within the constraints that we have and saying: 'Okay, we can pursue this, this and this.'

“What is absolutely certain is that you can't put out your strongest team every week and think you can compete in all competitions because you won't. We're certainly not in that position, but neither are the well-funded, well-resourced teams in the Premier League.

“If we keep presenting the same players, we will find ourselves very humble in every tournament. From that point of view, I don’t think that will give anyone any sense of relief.”





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