Boss Mark Hammett has called on his Cardiff Blues to produce a performance of 'ruthlessness and attitude' when they launch the new Guinness PRO12 campaign this weekend.
Cardiff Blues head to Italy to face Zebre in the Stadio XXV Aprille on Sunday afternoon (kick-off 5pm) as the new era under Hammer starts in earnest.
The new Director of Rugby at the BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park insists the result of the league opener will not define the entire season.
But Hammer is certainly looking for a positive start for his Blues and a performance full of desire and hunger.
“There’s no doubt winning and getting that confidence is critical,” he said. “But in game one, whether you win or you lose, it won’t determine your entire season.
“If we play our game right, with the ruthlessness and attitude that we need and we’ve talked about as a group doing this year, then that will go some way towards achieving that.
“We certainly have a group that’s keen to learn here, I’ve seen no stonewall or anything like that, and change can be really difficult,” he added.
“I’m throwing some new stuff at the management group, staff and the players, but they have been really receptive.
“When you put it under pressure you don’t always succeed straight away, but there is trust that if we keep working at it we will benefit.
“Technically we can be better. But, as an example, we have some really good calling systems that are better than where I have come from. But technically, in terms of our delivery, it’s not as good. There are areas we can do better and learn from.”
Reflecting on the narrow defeat at Welford Road, Hammer was pleased with the defensive metal on show against the powerful English side.
“At Leicester there was a focus on defence and the breakdown area - in those respects it was pleasing,” he said.
“We still have a lot of work to do around the set-piece, what our lineout structures are and our delivery weren’t as effective as they could have been.
“But it was the first time I’d seen the guys play as a group together and we now have things to work on ahead of the Zebre game.”