John Mulvihill insists Cardiff Blues must improve on both sides of the ball, starting with Saturday's Guinness PRO14 clash against Toyota Cheetahs at the Arms Park.
Wales’ Capital Region welcome the South African outfit to Cardiff for a crucial Guinness PRO14 encounter, looking to bring a four-game losing streak to an end.
The Cardiff Blues head coach has warned his side of the attacking threat posed by Cheetahs, and revealed it has been a brutally honest week of training with the side desperate to get back to winning ways.
“I think we need to be better as a club - as both coaches and players - to come together and put some better performances in,” said Mulvihill.
“We have to get to the result and performances that we need and I think we’ll see a difference in the way we play this week.
“We’ll see real competitiveness this week to make sure we put ourselves on the front foot and be in a position to win the game.
“A little bit of attitude comes a long way. There was a few uncharacteristic missed tackles and our defence probably wasn’t as good as it has been.
“If we work a little bit harder in attack and get into position a little bit quicker it will help us get a good result this weekend.
“Probably the most critical people after the weekend was the players on each other and the coaches on the preparations.
“People can talk and write about what they want but as long as we keep working hard and stick together we’ll come out the other end very quickly.
“Early in the season, Cheetahs have been one of the front-runners in the competition and have scored a lot of tries.
“Our defence will have to stand up this week, and the weather might play its part a bit to slow them down.
“They’ve scored 25 tries so far - 10 more than any other team in the competition - and they play a free-flowing style, but conditions in Galway and Llanelli didn’t suit them and we might have more of that this week.
“They’re on the end of a three week trip and that can go one of two ways. They’ll either be desperate to get back on the plane or will be hungry to put in a good performance before they go home.
“We need to be better on both sides of the ball and we’re hopeful of a good performance and a win.”
After Saturday’s encounter, attention turns to the Challenge Cup, as the Blues travel to Calvisano before welcoming Leicester Tigers to the Arms Park.
Mulvihill is confident his side remain competitive and hopes they can begin to build momentum ahead of the European campaign.
The Australian added: “All the regions struggle with the resources at the moment, but we’ll get some of our players back very soon.
“However, we’ve still got a good, competitive team but the players need to stand up and be counted for this week.
“We’re not far away. We’ve been close in every game we’ve played but we’ve lost in the crucial and critical moments.
“Last week, we could’ve possibly won, so if we get momentum from this weekend we can take that into the Challenge Cup.
“The international boys are all in different categories, but we hope that both Owen Lane and Hallam Amos will be gracing us with their presence sooner rather than later. Hopefully they’ll be ready for our home game against Leicester Tigers.
“Josh Adams, Dillon Lewis and Tomos Williams will probably be a little bit later and we might see them this side of the Barbarians match, but certainly straight after that.
“Obviously Josh Navidi will have to go through his injury protocol and that will probably take six weeks.
“We need to start the Challenge Cup well, so we’ll probably go strong over in Calvisano, while giving some of our young academy boys who have impressed an opportunity on the bench. That will give them special minutes and get their Cardiff Blues careers started.
“We’re really looking forward to the trip, and we haven’t been over there for a long time.
“We’ll make it as tough as we can for them, and hopefully our supporters will come to enjoy a good win out there.”