Steve Diamond "embarrassed" by Sale's relegation struggles

Diamond 'relieved' at Sale survival

Director of rugby Steve Diamond has admitted he is "embarrassed" that Sale Sharks have been involved in a relegation battle this season.

Sale's Premiership safety was confirmed when

The Sharks were bottom at the turn of the year but have hit form in the second half of the campaign to stay up.

"In one respect, I'm embarrassed that we found ourselves in such a position," Diamond told BBC North West Tonight.

"There's obviously some relief. It's important for the club to remain in the top flight and we've done all in our power to do that.

"We had a poor start to the season but we've got our form back since Boxing Day and it's moved us away from the bottom of the league."

Sale lie 10th in the table above London Welsh and London Irish with two matches to play.

But there were serious fears of relegation after a poor opening to the season, which was not helped by instability off the field.

Diamond is Sale's third director of rugby this season. Bryan Redpath began in the role but was redeployed to the position of head coach, while John Mitchell also briefly held the title before Diamond took control at the end of December.

Under the 45-year-old, Sale have won four and drawn one of their seven league matches, allowing them to recover from their below-par start.

"The morale's been good all year - we just didn't hit form," he added.

"We moved to a new stadium, we had a new coaching staff and new players and it just didn't gel.

"The stability of the place is important and the new stadium is becoming a fortress. I think everyone's got the stability they needed and it's bearing fruit."