By Cherry Picker
April 7 2012
With three games left to rescue something from what has been an inconsistent season, Gloucester coach Bryan Redpath says his players need to use those matches to win back the fans they have frustrated over the last eight months.
Qualifying for the Heineken Cup is the target, of course, but the last two Premiership games have provided evidence galore to suggest that won’t be easy.
Losing by one point to Exeter and two points to Wasps exposed weaknesses which won’t be repaired overnight, but with an eye on summer season ticket sales Redpath insists it has to be done.
He told the Citizen: "We owe the fans far better than that. They take their time, they travel, they spend money, and they have rightful expectations for us.
"We have rightful expectations for ourselves too, and we didn't match up to either what the fans would come to expect or what we would demand of ourselves.
"It wasn't good enough, that wasn't representative of Gloucester Rugby, and now we've got to think long and hard about how we put that right."
With a blank Easter, there’s plenty of time for reflection and for Redpath to ponder the make-up of his squad for next season.
The side everybody expects to be relegated, Newcastle Falcons, are at Kingsholm next Saturday, April 14, Sale Sharks following them as visitors before the cherry and white season ends at London Irish on May 5.
Sale also have hopes of a Heineken place, while the Falcons have a lot more at stake, so neither home game can be expected to be easy.
But winning those two home games could, but only could, be enough to clinch a top six finish, because they don’t want to be going to Reading needing a win to make it.