Feeding time's over
Falcons need to keep their top talent, says Tait
Last Updated: 16/09/11 11:23am
Newcastle head coach Alan Tait told The Rugby Club that the Falcons must stop losing their best players to other Premiership teams.
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"We want to put ourselves back on the map. We've lost too many players, both youngsters and internationally-experienced playersa and we can't afford to do that."
Alan Tait Quotes of the week
The Kingston Park outfit have seen a raft of stars depart over recent years, including Toby Flood, Phil Dowson, and David Wilson.
That exodus continued this summer with Kieran Brookes, Alex Gray and Micky Young, amongst others, heading for pastures new.
The Falcons' on-field performances have suffered as a result; they only avoided relegation from the top flight on points difference last year.
And this term has begun with successive defeats to Bath and Exeter, leaving Newcastle bottom of the league and Tait frustrated.
"We want to put ourselves back on the map," said the former Scotland international.
"We've lost too many players, both youngsters and internationally-experienced players. We can't afford to do that.
"I sat down with some of the guys that left last season and they'd been told that if they left Newcastle and went to bigger clubs they'd get England recognition.
"And that was really hurtful for me, the club and the supporters because if there's any truth in that we've got to quash it straight away. We're doing everything we can to make English players better."
Despite the Falcons' inauspicious start to the campaign, fly-half Jimmy Gopperth says the mood around the camp remains positive and he expects his side to move up the league in the weeks ahead.
"We hate that people wrote us off even before the competition started, but we've got a tight-knit group and we believe that we're not going to be down in that area of the table," said the New Zealander.
"We are learning from our mistakes and leaving the frustrations at the door the day after the game. We are getting over it and making sure we turn up on Monday morning raring to go for the next week.
"You can't dwell on things in this competition because the games come around too quick. If you dwell on things, you'll be sitting four, five and six games without a win."
Newcastle take on Leicester in this weekend's Sky Live fixture, Saturday, 3.00pm, Sky Sports HD2.
For more from the Falcons, including the views of captain James Hudson and some of the clubs' fans, hit the video at the top of the page.