RUGBY: Wasps the only focus for coach Mike

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Mike Ford Mike Ford

BATH head coach Mike Ford is refusing to look any further than Sunday’s Amlin Challenge Cup semi-final at Wasps (1pm) as his squad prepare to embark on what could prove the pivotal two weeks of their season.

A first major final since 2008 awaits for Ford’s men if they can clinch victory at Adams Park, with a quick five-day turnaround in prospect ahead of an Aviva Premiership appointment with second-placed Northampton next Friday.

A win in that match would wrap up Bath’s place in the end-of-season play-offs with one match to spare, but Ford has no intention of sacrificing a potential shot at silverware in the pursuit of league glory.

“You can’t look too far ahead and if we take anything off the Wasps game we will lose,” he said.

“On Sunday night we will start planning for Northampton but this (Wasps) is a massive game.

“We put pressure on ourselves to train and prepare well at the beginning of the week and we have to be mentally on edge because it’s a tough ask playing away from home in a semi final.”

Ford, who is likely to be without lock Dave Attwood at Adams Park, is delighted with the way his squad has dealt with their campaign to date, but is well aware that any slip-ups as the season draws to a close are likely to be magnified.

“Fair play to the players, they have played 32 games and won 26 of them,” he added. “But that means nothing at this stage of the season and we have to up the ante in the way we train and play.

“We can talk about performance but, at this stage, it’s about winning.”

NEWS FROM BATH'S AMLIN CHALLENGE CUP SEMI FINAL AT WASPS ON SUNDAY AT WILTSHIRETIMES.CO.UK/SPORT

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