Plymouth Albion coach confident ahead of London Scottish clash in Greene King IPA Championship

Plymouth Albion head coach James Shanahan admits his youthful side are currently their own worst enemies on the field, but he believes a first win of the new Championship season isn’t far away if their maturing performances in training are anything to go by.

Last weekend’s 31-22 defeat to Bedford at Brickfields left Plymouth bottom of the Greene King IPA Championship, four defeats from their first four games marking a far from ideal start.

Shanahan, who joined the club back in April last year, spent his summer recruiting a host of new faces and while the squad have gelled off the pitch, it seems their understanding on it is still a work in progress.

London Scottish are their next opponents in Sunday’s televised clash and although they themselves have experienced an excellent start, Shanahan is confident his side won’t return home empty handed if they produce that satisfying performance that has so far eluded them.

“Like most games it will be really physical up front, London Scottish have got a great set-piece and they are well coached.” – James Shanahan

“The boys are getting on really well, they are training really well but just at the moment in the games we are not clicking and seeing eye-to-eye,” said Shanahan.

“We are showing glimpses and we are probably our own worst enemies at the moment, we are making line breaks and causing the opposition lots of problems but then we are making bad decisions and forcing things.

“That is putting us under pressure and as a result we haven’t won the games that we probably expected to and wanted to so it has been frustrating.

“The boys need to learn a bit quicker, they know that, but we are working really hard and there are a lot of young players, players who have come from the lower leagues and that is where we are as a club.

“We are not going to be able to sign Premiership or Championship players, we have to sign young and up and coming players that I can see loads of potential in and that means I have to work really hard with them, which I am happy to do.

“I know things will improve and get better, but hopefully it starts on Sunday against London Scottish.”

Scottish have started the season in inspired form, registering three straight wins before succumbing to the might of Bristol last time out.

And having watched that defeat, Shanahan insists his side’s next opponents will cause a lot of problems if they are allowed to.

“Like most games it will be really physical up front, London Scottish have got a great set-piece and they are well coached,” he added.

“They have had a good start and they lost to Bristol last week but I watched the game and they played some great rugby against Bristol, who are a class apart.

“They have a lot of speed in their back three, they are very powerful up front and can cause teams issues.

“If we are not at our best it is going to be a tough day at the office but I believe we can go there and put a performance in and get a result.”

Formed in 2009, the Greene King IPA Championship is the second tier of professional rugby union in England. To keep up-to-date with all the latest news follow @ChampRugby on Twitter, or visit

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