ADAM Copperwheat is fully focused on keeping Witney in the sixth tier after being appointed the club’s new head coach.

The 32-year-old has taken over from Richie Craig, who departed from the role earlier this week.

Witney have endured a torrid season in South West 1 East and sit in the relegation zone with nine games remaining.

Last weekend’s defeat at Chippenham left the side 11 points from safety.

But Copperwheat, who hung up his playing boots earlier this season due to injury, is in a defiant mood.

He said: “No-one wants to be part of a relegated team and it’s something that’s staring us in the face.

“I don’t want to have played for the club and been the head coach in a year when we’ve gone down.

“We’ve got everything to gain, we’re already in the bottom three, how much worse can it get? My outlook is very much a positive one.

“There’s quite a few teams above us, but why can’t we throw everything at them?”

Craig, who had been at the club for five years, took over as head coach last summer with Tug Wilson becoming director of rugby.

But they have lost 13 of their 17 games and Witney have looked to freshen things up by appointing Copperwheat, who has coached the club’s academy.

Wilson said: “Speaking to the committee and looking at the results, relegation has become a real possibility.

“The committee are looking at next season wherever we are and making sure we’ve got a positive going forward.

“Richie has commitments to the RAF under 23s side which he has had for a while and that has not taken away from his work here, but we will now attack the rest of the season.

“Adam has been around rugby for a long time, he’s got a good pedigree.

“Hopefully we can get more points on the board and we’ll see where we finish.

“Even if it’s a case of getting relegated, we will have a platform for next season.”