Nat Saumi backed by Plymouth Albion board
NAT SAUMI'S position as Plymouth Albion's head coach was reviewed in the light of their home defeat to Moseley.
However, the Albion board unanimously agreed he should continue in his role, despite the club's poor run of results.
Albion have not won a league game for three months and have dropped into the bottom four.
However, the team produced a much better display against Leeds last weekend when they narrowly lost 28-26.
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That performance came following the club's internal review, which involved players, coaches and club management.
Last week's in-house review became public following an interview club chairman Graham Stirling gave to a national publication.
Stirling told the Rugby Paper: "Having had a good start, we're concerned that we've only won one match in four months.
"Our target is to finish in the top eight and we're clinging on to that position by the skin of our teeth.
"Performances have not been good enough so there's been an internal review into what has gone wrong and what we must do to put it right.
"We considered all options in the light of poor results, but it was unanimously agreed we should continue to run with Nat Saumi.
"Nat's contracted until the end of the season and we believe we've got the right coach to see the campaign out."
Fijian Saumi took over the reins at Albion in January 2012 after six dramatic weeks at Brickfields.
In November 2011 the board sensationally sacked long-serving chairman of rugby Graham Dawe to bring in former Exeter boss Peter Drewett after receiving promises of new investment.
But six weeks – and just one league win – later Drewett walked out on Albion after the club could not pay his wages.
Albion were on the brink of going into liquidation last season but, with Saumi leading the team, they survived both on and off the pitch and things looked promising after they won four out of their opening five matches.
The club have found wins tough to come by since, but the board remain optimistic Saumi can turn things around.
Stirling told Herald Sport: "As a board we are most concerned with the recent results, a feeling shared by Nat, the coaching staff and the players.
"We had a constructive discussion and are confident we have the right squad to return to winning ways.
"The immediate response at Leeds was most encouraging.
"We were without our dual-registered players, on duty with England Under 20s and the LV=Cup with Exeter Chiefs, but the rest of the guys stepped up to the plate and put in a solid performance and we thank them for that.
"The guys know what they are capable of doing and have demonstrated it several times this season. On the day we can compete with the best.
"We have eight matches left, three at home and five away and we need to pick up at least another couple of wins for Championship safety.
"We also need to pick up as many bonus points as possible like the one at Leeds last Sunday. In the final reckoning these can make a difference.
"We do have some tough fixtures in our run-in and have not ruled out strengthening our squad if the right loan players become available."
Albion have been linked with experienced Exeter backs Nic Sestaret, Mark Foster and Myles Dorrian.
The club have until the end of this month to strengthen their squad before the transfer deadline.