MX23RW : Tuesday, September 29 23:30:27| >> :600:93146:93146:

Wasps boss Lee Blackett plays down top-four talk

Wasps boss Lee Blackett plays down top-four talk
© Reuters
A pre-lockdown winning run raised play-off hopes at the Ricoh Arena.

Wasps head coach Lee Blackett has dismissed all talk of a top-four finish in the Gallagher Premiership this season.

Three straight wins before the campaign was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic propelled Wasps to within two points of the play-off places.

The Premiership resumes over the weekend of August 14-16 and Blackett's side take on fourth-placed Northampton at Franklin's Gardens on the Sunday.

"Hopefully we'll get enough points to put us there or thereabouts, but you just can't lose sight of our next game at Northampton," Blackett said.

"There is a lot to happen before we start talking about top four. Anything can happen, especially in the fixture list that's coming up."

Premiership clubs must squeeze in their nine remaining games by October 4 when the 2019-20 season is scheduled to finish.

"We've spoken this week actually about it and our only target is trying to beat Northampton," Blackett said.

"I think you can get too caught up in it. From a coach's point of view we talk about things in the long term, the planning has been massive in this period, but I don't think the players need to know all that.

"They need to trust that we're doing all our planning, but we've got to focus on the next game, that's our mentality.

"Our long-term goal is to beat Northampton and we'll go from there. After that we'll move on to Worcester."

Wasps beat Saracens, London Irish and Gloucester in their last three matches and Blackett, placed in temporary charge following director of rugby Dai Young's departure in February, was made permanent head coach in April.

The former Leeds and Rotherham centre feels his decision to hand his players more control over how the team is run has been vindicated.

"If you give them more freedom to lead you'll see how many more leaders there are," Blackett added.

"We have the leaders, we just need to give them the opportunity to lead.

"At the same time it's just getting the balance right between player power and the coaches because at times it still needs to be coach-led."

ID:409492:

Click here for more stories about Lee Blackett

Click here for more stories about Wasps

Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Jimmy Gopperth pictured for Wasps in February 2020
Read Next:
Jimmy Gopperth urges people to pick up the phone and have a virtual Easter
>
Latest Sports Video
Read more about Lee Blackett Rugby Union

rhs 2.0

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!