Monday, 12 June 2017

Dave Attwood: Bath's lack of trophies is increasingly frustrating

A frustrated Dave Attwood says Bath must stop “hinting and teasing” at what they can achieve and instead finally deliver silverware.

The West Country side have not won a trophy since lifting the European Challenge Cup in 2008, with a loss at Sale on the final day of the regular season ending any hopes of the club salvaging a place in the Premiership play-offs.

After spending five trophy-less seasons at The Rec, lock forward Attwood admits to an increasing sense of disappointment.

Bath were riding high in the league table prior to Christmas, but a lack of consistency saw them gradually fall off the Premiership pace.

And Attwood admits the formula that will give the club the necessary consistency remains elusive.

Bath have had four different bosses since Attwood joined the club in 2011 – Sir Ian McGeechan, Gary Gold, Mike Ford and now Todd Blackadder – and Attwood believes such churn has hindered the side’s fortunes.

“As a club, we are capable and should be achieving play-off rugby, finals and we should be aiming for silverware every season,” 30-year-old Attwood said.

“It’s increasingly frustrating from my point of view.

“We certainly don’t have the answer to what it is that will produce the consistency. We’ll have to keep kicking on and hopefully the process will give us the answer.”

Since Attwood moved to Bath from Gloucester in 2011, Bath were defeated finalists in the Challenge Cup in 2014 and Premiership runners-up to Saracens in 2015.

“We’re on the fourth coach since I’ve been here and that doesn’t help,” he said. “The turnover of the squad has been quite dramatic and there have been a number of other factors that have contributed.

“We’re trying to be very specific about what we are trying to fix. Sometimes it’s strategy, sometimes it’s emotional.

“Trying to put your finger on the recipe is difficult but a number of teams have managed to do it – look at the Bath of years ago, Wasps, Leicester and now Sarries.

“We’ve struggled to find it. A few times we’ve teased that we are there. Hopefully it’s a matter of time before it clicks and it lasts for a whole season.”

Attwood’s season was marred by a niggling knee injury that kept him out for four months, with the 24-cap England forward only returning for Bath’s Challenge Cup semi-final defeat to Stade Francais.

“Four months out with an unfortunate injury which was teasing me with the promise of fitness but not delivering was very frustrating,” he said.

“It reflects what’s gone on with the season as a whole at the club, where we’ve hinted and teased at what we can deliver.”

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