Gloucester boss Bryan Redpath says confidence has been the key factor in his side's impressive upturn in fortunes.
The Cherry and Whites looked to be on their way out of European competition in disappointing fashion following two defeats in their opening three Heineken Cup pool games but a trio of successive wins in impressive style now sees them preparing for an Amlin Challenge Cup quarter final.
Having scraped past the Dragons at Kingsholm in Round 1 in Redpath's first season in charge since stepping up from his role as assistant coach, Gloucester were trounced in Biarritz before being well beaten in Glasgow in December.
At that point, Redpath's men were also struggling in their domestic league with six defeats in their opening 10 games.
Fast forward three months and things are looking far brighter for Gloucester.
No longer dogged by the possibility of a Premiership relegation battle and having come so close to winning the LV= Cup, Redpath and co are looking good ahead of Sunday's trip to Adams Park to face Wasps.
"The biggest thing was confidence and the basics where we panicked a little bit," said Redpath of a frustrating start to the season.
"It breeds a bit of nerves and some of our basics weren't good enough. We were creating opportunities every game but we just weren't taking them. We were just falling off one or two and then confidence would go down and we'd lose games by four tries which is so rare for us.
"Confidence is definitely better now. The players are realistic; they know we've not got many opportunities and that we've got to knuckle down and take some of them. That's the big thing - everyone understands that we don't have many bites at the cherry and everyone now has to be pretty full on.
"Sunday's a big opportunity to put a marker down and say that we're not as bad as we've shown over six months. But talk is cheap and it's really easy to say that. Ultimately, we've got to do the basics better than we have as sometimes we haven't done that well enough."
Beating Wasps in Wycombe would certainly be an impressive statement.
Gloucester may have started off in this season's Heineken Cup - unlike their opponents this weekend - but it is Wasps who boast the greater European pedigree.
Two Heineken Cup titles and a Challenge Cup win is a record bettered only by Toulouse's three European crowns.
Gloucester may also have triumphed in the Challenge Cup four years ago but they have never reached similar heights when chasing the continent's most sought-after prize.
Having fallen short in the Heineken Cup once more this year, the chance to finish the season covered in European glory thanks to the addition of the three best Heineken Cup runners up to the Amlin Challenge Cup quarter finals is an exciting one for Redpath and co.
But to contemplate achieving that goal they must first dispose of a Wasps side for whom Redpath has a huge amount of respect.
"Wasps are very good at playing knockout rugby and they have been for donkeys' years," added Redpath.
"We know what Wasps are. There has to be respect when you play Wasps. If you don't want to respect them, you'll never win against them.
"But you can't play with fear; you can't play with nerves and you can't play with 'what ifs'. We've got to win the game - they're not a side who give you victories.
"We know it's going to be tough down there, just as it is the majority of times. We've got nothing to lose, though, and everything to gain and it's important that we have confidence and belief in ourselves."
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