Steve Meehan believes Bath can bounce back from Friday's defeat to Ulster
Bath coach Steve Meehan insists his side are in confident mood ahead of Sunday's clash with Stade Francais.
The 1998 Heineken Cup winners lost their opening pool game at Ulster last Friday, while Stade thumped Edinburgh in Paris the following day.
But despite their contrasting fortunes on the first weekend of Heineken Cup action, Meehan expects his side to offer a more-than-stern challenge to the twice European Cup finalists.
"It's been a really good week. The guys have come back after a few days off and been very positive," said Meehan, who signed a two-year contract extension at The Rec earlier this week.
"We had plenty of opportunities on Friday night against Ulster. We were just a pass away from getting they ball into space. We had eight clear chances and if you take half of them, it's a different ball game."
Meehan admits that Sunday's match has a must-win feel to it but he believes his players will revel in what is sure to be a fantastic occasion.
The Australian has seen his side retreat into their shells somewhat in recent weeks, having previously spent much of the past two seasons playing one of the most entertaining brands of rugby in England.
Spectators can expect that to change on Sunday, however, with Meehan instructing his side to play with their traditional freedom and belief.
"We're not delivering what we know we're capable of so we're disappointed with that. But we've identified two or three critical areas that have let us down," added Meehan, who led Bath to Challenge Cup glory in 2008.
"We've got to make sure that we play with some freedom and enjoyment - that's the most important thing for us. That will get us back to our most-attractive best. It'll bring our big runners and our finishers into the game and we'll be a greater threat.
"It's not just any old game. It's a perfect opportunity for us in terms of our entire season. It has a very important bearing on the pool for us… and a win would certainly be a confidence boost. They're a side that's considered a big scalp in Europe. There will be a great atmosphere at The Rec and the guys are really keen to be a part of it."
As part of the build-up to next month's Cardiff 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals weekend, ERC has joined forces with the WRU, Cardiff Blues and adidas to develop an annual grassroots community rugby programme targeting young players.
The Ulster Rugby full back, Jared Payne (No 15), has been suspended for two (2) weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in Dublin arising from the Heineken Cup quarter-final match against Saracens at Ravenhill Stadium on Saturday, 5 April.