"It's no' very good at a'," he said bluntly.
Having helped set a second European record in a calendar year – Edinburgh became the first Scottish team to reach a Heineken Cup semi-final and have now become the first of any nationality to fail to score a point in either of their first two matches in the competition – the response was somewhat understated.
As Michael Bradley, their head coach, pointed out, Edinburgh's overall performance in the 33-0 defeat to Munster was in some ways better, and in some ways worse, than when they were beaten 45-0 at home by Saracens eight days earlier. The nature of their late capitulation – they conceded three late tries as Munster secured a bonus point – showed Scottish rugby in a dreadful light.
Ford captained Scotland through the second half of their worst international season in 2011/12 before some hope was raised by three wins on a low-key tour of Australia and the South Seas, so he is the right man to ask how Edinburgh's failure, allied to that of Glasgow Warriors – this is the first season since 2004/05 that neither Scottish entrant has won one of their first two Heineken Cup matches – would affect the national team's psyche.
"You come together as a Scotland squad and you get down to work," he said. "It is a different scenario, with different coaches. It is almost like a fresh start. New boys working together. You just get on with it. Players would prefer to come in off the back of a few wins but playing for your country is an honour, so you go there and start afresh."
Ford's phraseology seemed telling, though, when it was pointed out to him that players are always quick to talk about the benefits of coming into the international camp on the back of victories on the rare occasions that they do so, so the corollary must also pertain.
"That is the spin boys want to put on it," he said. "You don't go into any games being negative. You want to show what you can do. It doesn't always happen but there is no point in your bottom lip tripping you. You have to find a way to fix things. You have to get on with the job. It is not ideal [that the pro teams are] losing in Europe; it is disappointing, to say the least."
For all that he has worked hard to adapt to the requirements of Test captaincy, Ford has never been overly comfortable under any sort of interrogation, particularly when things have not gone well, so it would be unfair, and wrong, to place much emphasis on his use of the word "spin" in that context.
Even so, it is a reminder that the words of sportsmen and women ahead of major events should come with a health warning, explaining the need for those employed to assess such things to dig slightly deeper.
Did he accept, I wondered then, that this represented a spectacular fall from grace for a squad that have been significantly reinforced since they performed so splendidly in the same competition just six months ago?
As he plays, so Ford seeks to answer questions. He understands that some guile has to be employed, lest he and his colleagues become too easy to analyse, but for the most part he strives to be honest and straightforward. "There is no doubting that," he replied. "Last week, we did not have much ball to play with. This week, the ball we did get, we threw it away . . . again.
"We are not making it easy for ourselves. We must be smarter over how we are approaching the game and make sure we keep the ball. We have to build things which we didn't do; we didn't give ourselves a chance."
I suggested, perhaps a little cruelly, that the expression "throwing it away" was particularly apt, in light of the trouble the hooker has been having finding his targets in the lineout over the past couple of weeks. "Last week, it was me [to blame] without a doubt," Ford admitted. "This week, I had one not straight but the rest were stolen by Paul O'Connell, who read them pretty well. This week was a step in the right direction but I still had one not straight, which is not acceptable."
As to where the overall blame lies, whether with players or management, he was again unequivocal. "It stops with the players," he said. "We have come out and made it hard on ourselves. Whenever you are out on the pitch, it is the responsibility of the players to front up and do what we do in training."
Which, with the Scotland squad to take on New Zealand's All Blacks scheduled to be announced tomorrow, takes us back to Scotland and Ford's contention that the woes of the professional teams should not affect their outlook. "It is a different thing," he asserted. "You've not seen the other players for a while. You are working to different systems and it is a fresh start. When you go to the Scotland camp you focus on the positives and look at what you can bring to the table."
He also dismissed the suggestion that going into the autumn internationals seeking a fourth straight win would offer considerable relief from being part of a team that has lost five matches in a row.
"In the autumn Tests, we come up against world-class opposition," Ford noted. "What we did on tour will not be good enough to put pressure on the All Blacks. We have to lift it again and look at ways to improve. We cannot stand still and admire what we have done. We will gather at St Andrews to set the bar higher again."
He has discussed the captaincy with Andy Robinson, Scotland's head coach, but, while "happy to do the job again", he is unwilling to indicate whether he knows he will be doing it. "I'll keep my head down and keep working hard," he said.
The rugby nation expects nothing less, but Ford is not the only one who can expect his words and actions to be scrutinised in the most minute detail over the coming weeks and months.
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