With two weeks between the defeat to Glasgow Warriors and the start of the European campaign in Newcastle, it’s the perfect time for the Cardiff Blues squad to knuckle down and work on vital aspects of their game, says scrum coach Duane Goodfield.
With the squad’s international contingent set to return after this weekend’s clash against Italy, John Mulvihill’s side will head into the crucial second block of fixtures looking to kick start their campaign, as they start their bid for a third European Challenge Cup trophy.
With the festive derbies also on the horizon, Goodfield is confident his side can bounce back from the defeat to Glasgow.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming those boys back into the squad, and I’m sure they’re excited to come back to camp as well,” said the scrum coach.
“Hopefully they’ll bring confidence from the international set-up and we can all look ahead to those big European fixtures.
“As a squad, we’re itching to compete and we’re a close knit group.
“But we know that we need to improve. We’ll be working hard on the training ground over these two weeks, as we always do.
“We want to put in an improved performance for the full 80 minutes that we’re out on the pitch, and we know the game against Glasgow could’ve gone in our favour.
“Owen Lane got a try disallowed which was unlucky but we need to keep improving especially with the ball in hand.
“We’ll review that game, and the block of games we’ve had so far, and work hard on identifying where we can improve. We want to start creating opportunities in the opposition half and put them under pressure.”
It was a close contest against the Scottish outfit in Newport, but Huw Jones’ interception secured the victory for the Warriors.
Goodfield insists his side must improve when in possession but he’s pleased with the attitude and effort of the squad from week to week.
“We were very disappointed on Sunday. We lost the ball too often and didn’t have enough platform to attack,” added the former hooker.
“When we kicked, Glasgow were able to run back at us easily and that put pressure back on ourselves.
“We weren’t able to get enough possession in their half to go through the phases and build pressure to cross the try-line.
“It was a close game, and the boys worked extremely hard. We don’t need to discuss the effort because they always bring that, but we need more than that at the moment. We need to improve with the ball in hand, especially when we have opportunities to attack from set pieces.”