Todd Blackadder: Bath can still make Champions Cup places says boss

Bath taking on Leicester at Twickenham
Bath have lost four of their last five Premiership matches

Bath director of rugby Todd Blackadder still believes his side can qualify for next season's European Champions Cup.

His side are eighth in the Premiership after Saturday's 34-19 loss to Leicester - seven points off sixth place and the final English berth in Europe's top competition.

Bath, who were European champions in 1998, have missed out the tournament just three times in the past 10 years.

"I think we've got the squad to do it," Blackadder told BBC Radio 5 Live.

Bath visit second-placed Saracens next Sunday before a crucial match with West Country rivals Gloucester, who are currently one place above them with a game in hand.

They finish the season with a home game against bottom side London Irish.

"This is the first time we've been close to our best team and we've got a fantastic group of guys," added Blackadder after his side's 10th league loss of the season.

"I know the pride's been dented and it would be really easy to make an excuse and dent our confidence, but I think we can take a lot from this game.

"We've got a great challenge in Saracens, I think this group is in a really good situation because it's a challenging one and that's what professional sport's all about."

'We can find a way out of this'

The New Zealander left Super Rugby side Crusaders to take over at The Rec in the summer of 2016 following Mike Ford's sacking after they finished ninth.

And the former All Black acknowledged that he was under pressure to turn results around.

"When you're in these roles and you're a director of rugby you're always under pressure, that's just a given," the 46-year-old added.

"None more so than trying to get the performance right, but honestly, it's an uncontrollable for me, I just try to do the best job I can every single week.

"We've got a good team, we can find a way out of this with a bit of hard work."

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