Marc Stcherbina knows exactly what it is like to go into the bear pit that is Perpignan's Stade Aime Giral and he will be hoping for something better than previous results when he heads up Cardiff Blues' Round 2 challenge on Friday night.
The Aussie centre marked his home debut for the Blues following his summer signing from Northampton Saints with a Heineken Man of the Match performance in the 40-13 Pool 2 win over Leeds Tykes - and now he is aiming to do something he couldn't do when he was at Biarritz Olympique.
"I never managed to win at Perpignan in the two seasons I was with Biarritz and it is always a daunting prospect travelling there," said Stcherbina. "They always have a massive pack and a fanatical set of supporters "It can be a pretty hostile place to play and we need to stick tight as a group. The players must try not to take too much notice of the environment and we must try to find ways to shut up the Perpignan crowd. "I'll be brushing up on my French this week to see if I can pick up a few of their calls, but we will travel to France having taken a huge amount of confidence out of our win over Leeds. It's all about attitude and we certainly got that right in the second half against Leeds.
"When I was at Biarritz we always knew the Blues had a highly capable team from 1 to 15, but we could see they didn't have the necessary confidence in each other. That is starting to come and we need to travel to Perpignan believing we can win there.
"If we play like we did in the first half against Leeds then Perpignan will just pile on the points. But if we can pick up where we left off in the second half then we should be able to cause them a few problems.
"Things can only get better and better from here, although we know we will have to lift ourselves even higher in Perpignan. But after the performance against Leeds I think we can go out and beat any team."
And Blues coach Dai Young knows his side will have to do something they haven't managed since 21 October, 2000 - win a Heineken Cup tie away from home.
You have to go back five seasons for the last time the Blues won a European game away from the Arms Park, their amazing run of 14 successive defeats being second only to Glasgow's 22 as the worst in the history of the competition.
The 32-23 win at Vicarage Road over Saracens was the key to the last time the 1996 runners-up qualified for the quarter-finals and current skipper Rhys Williams, centre Jamie Robinson, lock Craig Quinnell and flanker Martyn Williams are the only players who can recall what it's like to win on the road in Europe with the Blues. "Our away record is history as far as I'm concerned," said Young. "This week we will focus on what went wrong in the first half against Leeds, try to fix a few things and try to improve. "If we can have 85 minutes like the 45 we had in the second half then I'm convinced we can get a result in Perpignan. The players want this more than anyone else and they have proved what they are capable of with the right attitude.
"In the last three or four games our first-half performances have all left us with a lot to do and if we give Perpignan a 40-minute start then it will be very difficult to turn things around."
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.