Time to turn it around - Cueto
December 29, 2010
Mark Cueto is Sale's sixth captain this season © Getty Images
New Sale skipper Mark Cueto has admitted that confidence and morale in the squad is low and there's a lot that "needs sorting out" at the club.
Only four years ago Edgeley Park was the home of the Premiership champions but Sale now find themselves third from bottom after six defeats in their last seven outings.
Coach Mike Brewer was sacked just before Christmas and Pete Anglesea's tenure in charge started with an eight-try hammering at the hands of Leicester on December 27.
In a bid to turn things around, Anglesea has handed Cueto the captain's armband and the England winger is hoping he can inspire his team-mates with performances on the pitch, though he admits the club is in desperate need of rebuilding.
"I'm more of a doer than a talker," he told the Mirror. "I'd like to think the way I play and the way I train and conduct myself day to day will inspire the boys. But people think you appoint a new coach and a new captain and everything will immediately change for the better. I have to say that isn't the case. Things don't change for the better over the course of a day or a week. It takes time.
"As much as I'd love for us to start winning games immediately and pushing up the table we've got to be realistic. We're looking at a six to 12-month, possibly two-year, sort of plan. There's a lot that needs sorting out."
Sale were put to the sword at Welford Road, with the game effectively over after 20 minutes as Leicester raced into a 21-0 lead. With the mood in the camp low and star players Charlie Hodgson and Andrew Sheridan expected to head for the exit door, Cueto has called for unity.
"Confidence is low, morale is low, that's where we're at right now," he said. "That's the way it goes in the professional era and we've got to get on with it. But I guarantee that, no matter what the summer might bring, right now we are all pulling in the same direction.
"There's no need for anyone to panic. We're a far better team than our league position reflects. But it's going to require a massive effort from everyone. For all Pete's positives he's inexperienced. So as players we've got to get behind him as much as he gets behind us."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"Cheika's been phenomenal. He gives you an incredible level of mental strength." Tom Hamilton talks to Waratahs star Jacques Potgieter
While the Super Rugby season enters the all-important knockout phase, elsewhere pre-season training never looked so enjoyable. We round-up the best snaps in our Week in Pictures
"Our scrums and lineouts are sometimes not that good but our men are very brave." Ken Borland finds that rugby is on the rise in Senegal
Laurie Fisher talks about the Brumbies and Gloucester, and provides revealing thoughts on the player involvement during the glory days in Canberra