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Dickson braced for uphill battle with Harlequins

Karl Dickson admits Harlequins’ flickering Aviva Premiership Rugby hopes are in danger of dying out following their defeat to Exeter Chiefs at the Stoop last weekend, but no one at the Stoop will be giving up.

Quins went down 32-21 thanks to 27 points from Exeter fly-half Henry Slade, despite taking an early lead through a Nick Evans try and penalty.

The defeat leaves Quins in ninth place but, due to the close proximity of all the teams in the table, they are only ten points off third-place Saracens.

They face table-toppers Northampton Saints on Friday night and Dickson accepts that it will be a tough task to reach the play-offs – but a European Rugby Champions Cup spot is still very much in reach.

“It was extremely disappointing,” said the scrum-half. “We created a lot of chances which we should have finished off but we didn’t.

“We let them back into the game too easily and their points came too easily and it cost us in the end.

“I’m really disappointed but we can’t dwell too much on that because we have to move on and focus on Northampton this weekend.

“It wasn’t ideal, I think we are nine points behind fifth but there are still seven games to go.

“It’ll be a massive uphill struggle now and hopefully results will go our way, but it is a big challenge to get there and we will see what happens nearer the end of the season.

“Our focus every week is just to win each game as it comes along and see where we are in the end.

“There’s no set goal of ‘we have to finish here’ or ‘we have to finish there’ but ideally we want to be in the Champions Cup next year, who wouldn’t want to be? So that is probably our main goal as it stands.”

Quins have lost their last two games and have struggled to keep up any sort of form all season, only recording back-to-back victories once in the league, but Dickson says momentum is not the issue.

“I don’t think momentum is a problem necessarily, I think it is just inconsistency,” said the 32-year-old, who signed a new two year contract with the club last month.

“One week we play really well and the next week we are not performing.

“I think it’s just that inconsistency and you can’t have that in this league because everybody can beat everybody on their day and we are dropping too many points which has ultimately cost us.”

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