Bath Rugby club captain Stuart Hooper has backed his team to bounce back from their West Country derby defeat to Gloucester Rugby last Friday as they look to get their Aviva Premiership Rugby season back on track.
Hooper returned to Bath colours to partner try-scorer Dom Day in the second row against local rivals Gloucester and despite an early forward onslaught, Bath lost 15-11, with James Hook kicking five penalties.
Ninth-placed Bath travel to Sixways having lost their last six in all competitions, with their last win coming against the tenth-placed Worcester Warriors at the Rec, back in round seven.
Hooper though is confident the work they are putting in on the training field will come to fruition sooner rather than later.
“The important thing is to stick together and try to keep our heads up because we’re not going to achieve anything moping around and feeling sorry for ourselves,” Hooper said.
“We’ve gone back to Farleigh, worked on some things and we’ll prepare for the next game as we normally would.
“I’ve been really impressed by the attitudes this week though because the boys haven’t been too down and have faced up to what happened and taken it on the chin.
“That’s what we had to do because we got what we deserved. But everyone has had the mindset of what can we do to get better and improve.”
The Gloucester defeat particularly rankles with Hooper, who has over 150 appearances for Bath, and he believes the team paid the price for silly errors.
“It hurts to lose at home to Gloucester, maybe more than most losses, but we’ve got to stick together now and make sure we bounce back this weekend,” he said.
“One of the perils of sport is that when you build these derbies up as bigger games, it is going to be tougher to take when you do lose.
“When we’re on top in games, we must deliver high skill and execution to get points on the board and stop the opposition from scoring to get themselves back in it.
“When you’re on top in this league you have to take advantage and the longer you can keep teams scoreless, the harder and more challenging it becomes for them as the pressure builds.”