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Cardiff Blues determined to produce performance to be proud of on Sunday - Wilson

12th December 2017

Danny Wilson insists Cardiff Blues are determined to bounce back from last week's defeat at Sale Sharks, by producing a home performance to be proud in the reverse fixture at Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday (KO 3.15pm).

The Blues remain on top of Pool 2 in the European Challenge Cup, following wins against Lyon and Toulouse in the opening rounds. But Sale’s 24-0 victory on Saturday blew the group wide open and sets up a tense and crucial clash in the Welsh capital this weekend.

The Cardiff Blues head coach admits his side struggled to adapt to the tough conditions at AJ Bell Stadium, but remains positives about their hopes of qualifying for the knockout rounds for the second consecutive season.

“Sunday will be about repaying our supporters with a home performance they can be proud of,” said Wilson.

“We’re still top of the group after two good wins, but as I’ve said before, we can’t overreact after big wins and we can’t overreact to big losses. 

“We need to be level-headed to be able to see through that and assess the process.

“With a small squad it’s difficult to fight on all fronts, but we certainly want to fight in Europe and PRO14, they are our main competitions. 

“We won our first two games in Europe, with two good wins, and going into this double-header we want to go strong and do as well as we can.

“Some of the areas we weren’t good at over the weekend are areas we have been good at for weeks. We’ve played some good rugby and had some good wins so it’s important we come back to the Arms Park with a decent performance.

“Regardless of injury problems that we currently have, we still felt that we had a side that could go up there and perform better than we did on the day.

“It’s important that we repay our fans. There were several who made the long journey up to Sale, as was recognised by players and staff, and we need to repay them this weekend with our performance.

“We’ll draw a line under it and move onto this game. We certainly weren’t happy with our performance.

“The conditions meant you had to play a certain way, perhaps not the way we traditionally want to play, and not necessarily our identity, but you still have to be able to play in those conditions and Sale taught us a lesson.”

Wilson is set to be handed a boost as back row, Josh Navidi, is set to return to action for Sunday’s crucial clash following international duties.

Navidi played a key role in Wales’ four games over the autumn period and Wilson was delighted to see the flanker being awarded for his regional performances.

“Josh Navidi will be back this weekend, which is pleasing. He’s been outstanding for my whole time here at Cardiff Blues and I’m really pleased he’s had some rewards.

“He can play more than one position, right across the back row, he’s a very good carrier and he offers something a bit different.

“I’m sure he’ll be fresh and raring to go for Cardiff Blues on Sunday.”