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Leicester good enough to escape relegation battle, says Mike Ford

• Former England defence coach hired as consultant
• Leicester five points off bottom after dismal season

Leicester’s new consultant, Mike Ford, believes the team have the talent and desire to escape the relegation scrap. The former England and Ireland defence coach has been hired for the remaining five matches of the season and following a run of eight defeats in 11 games that have dropped Leicester to 10th, five points above the bottom club, Newcastle, their opponents in the north-east next week.

Before then, they face the leaders Exeter at Welford Road on Saturday. It was the 40-6 defeat at Sandy Park on the opening weekend of the season that prompted Leicester to sack coach Matt O’Connor. He was replaced by Geordan Murphy, initially on a caretaker basis, but their poor form on the road has continued.

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