Joe Ford has moved to calm the fears of Leeds Carnegie fans that their current mid-table status is by no means as good as it gets.
Leeds fans are becoming increasingly agitated by the club’s inability to string results together with the long-time Premiership club currently fifth in the second tier having lost more games than they have won.
It is a young team, with 22-year-old fly-half Ford at its very heart, but the former Northampton Saint refuses to use that as an excuse.
Instead he points to the work being done by himself and his fellow tyros behind the scenes that hints at a sustained run of form being right around the corner.
Ahead of today’s trip to London Scottish, Ford said: “I’m pretty happy with my form but in the same breath I’m not getting carried away.
“I’m developing at the speed I’d like to be. There’s a lot of games to go and I’m just keeping my head down and working hard. I’m by no means where I want to be.
“Each week, if I can get a little bit better then that is a step in the right direction.
“If you speak to any player, they’ll say they’re not the complete article. Everyone of us is striving to get better.
“I’m someone who learns quickly. I sit down and watch my games each week and then I sit with the coaches and work out what went right and what went wrong and try not to repeat what went wrong.”
That collective determination to improve manifested itself this week in a training regime built around protecting possession better.
Head coach Diccon Edwards has been frustrated time and again this season by Leeds’s repeated inability to simultaneously fail to convert possession and gift opponents easy points.
Ford said: “Execution is key, and to do that we need to look after the ball better.
“We have been working on line breaks in training this week, and holding on if the pass is not available and waiting for the next phase.
“More often than not it’s about patience and not rushing things. Decision making is vital.”
Rob Baldwin replaces Chris Walker in the back row. Oli Goss debuts on the wing.