Rugby: No panic over Edinburgh Euro exit

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SRU chief executive Mark 
Dodson will not press the panic button following Edinburgh’s disastrous European campaign, insisting the coaching team will be given time to turn things around.

The Capital outfit have just bowed out of the European Cup without a group point while they lie ninth in the 12-team RaboDirect PRO 12 League.

This has contributed to pressure piling on the coaching trio of Michael Bradley, Neil Back and Billy McGinty but Dodson is currently in no mood to wield the axe.

“At this stage we are not making any judgments because I don’t think it is helpful when there is a large part of the season to go and we have lots of focus on the Six Nations,” said Dodson. “Edinburgh just need to be given some time and given some space to sort things out themselves.”

The performances are particularly disappointing in view of an increased signing budget being made available although some have questioned just how many newcomers were imposed on Bradley by the SRU owners headed by a performance director who has returned to the Southern Hemisphere.

Dodson was particularly keen to draw a parallel with last year’s historic march under Bradley to the Heineken Cup semi-finals, although claims that it basically the same squad are wide of the mark. Of the most recent Edinburgh line-up, only nine of the 23 on duty played in that semi-final and seven were snapped up over the summer while others graduated through the youth set-up.

“We sometimes forget that this time last year Edinburgh were going into the quarter-finals of the Heineken and on to a semi,” said Dodson. “I want people to remember this is not a bad team. It does not change to a bad team overnight.”

However, he admitted: “Clearly, results wise, the coaching group have got to do something about it and so have the players to turn things around.

“The people I am most frustrated for are the fans who turn up through thick and thin and have been given a brand of rugby that has not been good enough. Everybody has to look at themselves; we have to look at ourselves off the field.”