Jeremy Thrush insists Gloucester Rugby must put the pain of consecutive losses behind them if they want to claim a West Country derby double against Bath Rugby on Saturday.
David Humphreys’ side were flying high after three wins in four weeks against Bath, Harlequins and Wasps – their only reverse coming to then league-leaders Saracens at Allianz Park.
But the Cherry and Whites have now lost their last two against tenth and 12th-placed Worcester Warriors and London Irish respectively, and lost valuable ground in the race for a top-six finish.
Thrush admitted there has been some soul-searching at Kingsholm over the past two weeks, but they are now ready to reverse a poor run of form against their fiercest rivals.
“I think everyone here has probably had a pretty good look at themselves as individuals, obviously we want to do better and it hurts,” the 11-times-capped lock said.
“If it hurts then it means you care about who you’re playing for and the team you’re playing for, but we need to put that hurt aside and focus on the task at hand to make sure we have clear minds going into the game.
“I always go out there to play and want to be proud of myself and the performance I put out on the field and if you can do that, then it means the supporters can be proud of you as well."
Gloucester are five points behind sixth-placed Harlequins and Thrush says the key to pushing up the table is to concentrate on their performance in training, as well as their results week to week.
Humphreys’ men went from their first win over Wasps in three-and-a-half-years to a 28-20 defeat to Worcester – having beaten the same opposition three times already this season – and Thrush thinks they got carried away by their own success.
“I’m not really worried about six weeks down the track, I’m worried about how we train and how we prepare to play on the weekend,” the former Hurricanes star said.
“It is very easy to excited about things we could do and where we could be and maybe a little bit of that stuffed us up in the last two weeks after beating Wasps.”
Mike Ford’s Bath team have not hit the heights of last year, but having beaten Newcastle Falcons 21-19 last weekend, Thrush is expecting a tough game and predicts the return of Greig Laidlaw from Scotland duty could be pivotal.
He said: “I know they had a win last week and we have had a pretty bad run of form in the last two weeks, but I think we will both be looking to this game with a bit of excitement.
“Greig [Laidlaw] is just such a smart player, a great thinker and very calm in the head. If you have a player like that it’s good, it’s great to have someone like that back.
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