ASM Clermont Auvergne will make history when they run out at Stade Chaban-Delmas for their first Heineken Cup semi-final on Sunday and Aurelien Rougerie is confident his side can handle the pressure
The French club have fallen at the quarter-final stage on three previous occasions but booked their place in the last four with a convincing 22-3 victory over Saracens in London.
They face the daunting task of going head-to-head with reigning kings of Europe Leinster in Bordeaux but Rougerie reckons it is the moment the club have been building towards.
"We must put our failures in Europe behind us. We cannot play with apprehension after all the sacrifices we have made to get here.
"We can't question ourselves. There will be enough pressure on us in the hours before the game and we have to keep our heads clear.
"We have been building for a number of years. Ever since we won the Top 14 title in 2010 we have been better in the big fixtures. We know that we can beat the best European teams."
The two sides have clashed three times in the last two seasons in Europe with Leinster leading with two wins, including a slender quarter-final triumph in 2010.
Clermont have been compared to Leinster in the build-up to the clash and Rougerie admits the Dubliners are a formidable outfit. But he insists the Montferrand club are only focussed on themselves and continuing to fly the flag for France in Europe's top club competition.
"When you see their rugby it could be the most complete brand rugby in Europe - it is a reference for us," added Rougerie.
"But we do not want to focus too much on Leinster. We know them well enough to know how dangerous they can be because we have played them three times in the last two years. The game will be tough and we must play very well to challenge them."
The directors of ERC voted unanimously at a Board meeting to postpone all decisions including the release of further instalments of ERC's distributable central revenues to the six shareholder countries until 19 February next when the Board will meet again to reconsider the issue.