Harlequins' chances of making the Heineken Cup quarter-finals may be growing increasingly slim but they won't be taking the rest of the competition lightly says head coach John Kingston.
Quins fell to a third straight group defeat on Sunday afternoon to remain rock bottom of Pool 5 with just a single point to their names.
But despite the nature of their position at the mid-point of the round-robin action, Kingston insists his side are determined not to be beaten by Sale Sharks when they travel to Edgeley Park this weekend.
"We'll be competitive," said Kingston, after his side were beaten 29-19 by the same opposition at The Stoop last time out.
"There's no way we want a situation where they win again and then they've got the wood over us for New Year's Day when we play them in the league.
"We're not traveling all the way up there for nothing. We have a duty to be competitive and we'll continue to do that."
Having reached the knockout stages with five group wins last season, the 2009/10 campaign has been a frustrating one for Quins.
A narrow loss at Cardiff Blues in Round 1 was followed by an even tighter reverse at home to French giants Toulouse before Sunday's loss to Sale.
And Kingston admits that the European season to date has been one of unfilled potential as far as Quins are concerned.
"There's an outside chance that we could finish second in the group, but I'm not naïve and that opportunity has probably also gone," added Kingston.
"Some of our rugby (against Sale) was tremendous but you're not going to win games if you're not prepared to work hard enough when the opposition have got the ball. We switched off at times and allowed them half chances and, fair play, they took them really well.
"It's (the Heineken Cup campaign) been a massive disappointment. You look back at it and play the 'what if' game but you sport's not like that.
"You get your chance, we haven't taken it, we'll be out of Europe and we've now got to move on and build on our good league form over the past couple of months."