Tindall to take it to the wire
January 18, 2011
Gloucester skipper Mike Tindall has called for his side to turn around their away form © Getty Images
Gloucester centre Mike Tindall has admitted his disappointment with their Amlin Challenge Cup campaign prior to Thursday's make-or-break tie against Agen at Kingsholm.
The Cherry and Whites are currently three points behind Pool 5 leaders La Rochelle heading into the final round and are hoping for a home triumph as well as a major upset as the table-toppers host Italian minnows Rovigo - routed 55-7 by Gloucester last weekend.
La Rochelle were conquerors of Kingsholm thanks to a surprise win back in December and that result, coupled with a loss on the road to Agen, has left the 2006 champions facing an early exit from a competition that has grown in strength in recent seasons.
"We always knew it was going to be a big challenge and we've let ourselves down a little bit," Tindall said. "We did all the hard work in Agen and lost in the last play after controlling the game for most of it. That was disappointing. We did all the hard work down in La Rochelle and beat them but we let them turn us over on our own patch. That's really disappointing too."
Tindall has pinpointed Gloucester's away form as a major stumbling block both in Europe and the Aviva Premiership but the England centre is at a loss to explain their Jekyll and Hyde reputation. In recent weeks they have slipped to a narrow domestic loss away at Leeds, in what was the Yorkshire side's first domestic win of the season, before turning over Exeter in a breathless display on their home track two weeks ago.
"We need to start taking away victories a little bit more and need to get better performances away from home," he said. "We've sat down and talked about that numerous times. I don't know if it's a confidence issue that's in the head.
"We're just going to try and forget about what's happened in the past and try and represent ourselves as well as we can. When we're at home we've always got the 'Shed factor' to pick us up if thing aren't going right and we've got to be able create that atmosphere when we're away from home.
"The big thing for us is getting consistency both home and away. If we can do that I think we can push a long way this season. It's a big if but it's a challenge for every member of the squad."
While Gloucester's French foes may be in control of their destiny, Tindall has promised Agen a bumpy ride when they arrive at Kingsholm - insisting that the memory of their reversal against La Rochelle is a distant one.
"We've put that away and with Exeter we're back to normal practice when we're at home," he said. "The big thing at home that we need to get away is that when we're at home we expect to win, if we're down we always expect we can come back."
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