Force players still believe in me: Foley

Western Force coach Michael Foley is confident he hasn’t lost the support of his players, but concedes he needs to reset expectations following his team’s latest loss.

The Force face a fight to avoid consecutive Super Rugby wooden spoons after slumping to a 49-13 home loss to the NSW Waratahs on Saturday night.

The result left the Force (1-7) second last on the table – with only South Africa’s hapless Kings below them.

The Force trailed the Waratahs by just seven points in the 53rd minute, before conceding the final four tries.

While a new, expansive game plan hasn’t paid dividends as yet, Foley still has faith it will steer the team in the right direction.

But three of the Force’s seven losses have been by 35 points or more – a worrying trend that has robbed the team of confidence.

Foley says his players tend to drop their heads too easily when things start to go against them.

When asked whether he felt his still had the support of his players, Foley replied: “I believe so.

“You come out of a game like that and it’s easy for people to interpret it that people don’t care. But I assure you the players care a lot.”

Foley said the remainder of the season would be a huge test of his team’s character, starting with Friday night’s clash with the Bulls in Perth.

But he admitted he needed to lower his expectations of what the team could achieve this season.

“The expectations we put on ourselves may have been too great. We’ve got to shake that. We’ve got to reset the bar,” Foley said.

“You set goals to make finals, you set your goals to win championships. And when those opportunities start to leak away, you tend to get too disappointed.

“So for us, it’s about showing that spirit we know the team has.

“Although we may not be in the playoff race, being able to go out there and show that type of character we have done before is critical.”

Foley said it was important for his players to stick to the task – even if things were going against them.

“You could sense the disappointment in the players, but it was too great,” Foley said.

“Yes, in the moment in the game you become disappointed because things aren’t quite going right.

“But you (need to) flush that, and you move on and you enter the next battle.

“For us, it takes too long for us to get past certain things that don’t go right.”

Playmaker Peter Grant is in some doubt to take on the Bulls after suffering an eye injury against the Waratahs.

But Luke Morahan, Chris Alcock, and Ian Prior should be fit to return.

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