A journalist friend of mine phoned me on Monday and asked what I was going to write in this column this week, to which I replied "not sure yet, as I never write it until Thursday morning." He suggested I should not bother, as it did not matter what I wrote as some people will never be happy whatever you say!
Well that may be the case but I have always figured that some communication with our supporters is better than none at all. I can understand the criticism and frustration that you as supporters of NEC Harlequins are feeling at the moment. Everyone at the training ground appreciates that the performances over the last three weeks have been below the standard which we set ourselves and that we have let everyone involved with the club down; staff and supporters alike.
As a result of our performance last Saturday against Bath, a lot of meetings took place between the players, the coaching staff and the management team on Monday. There were clearly some issues that needed to be addressed as to why we have not performed in our last three games.
As I suggested two weeks ago perhaps, subconsciously at least, we had relaxed after playing eight 'cup finals' in the Zurich Premiership. Technically last Saturday we turned the ball over far to often, thus putting ourselves under a huge amount of pressure which finally told with the two late tries we conceded that finished any chances we might have had to get back in the game.
Whatever the reasons, we have to sort it out with the personnel we have available to us and we have to sort it out quickly. We have good players as we showed in our performances between early October and the end of November, but we have certainly lacked consistency. On Sunday we travel to Vicarage Road to take on Saracens in round 12 of the Zurich Premiership. After our comprehensive win over Sarries back in November there is no doubt that Steve Diamond will have his team fired up gunning to reverse that result.
Missing from the team this Sunday will be Will Greenwood. Will underwent a scope on a long standing shoulder problem yesterday and although we are still waiting to hear from the consultant on how the operation went, he will clearly be out for a minimum of four weeks, maybe longer depending on the results. George Harder also needs a further week to rest his injury having failed to come through a training session yesterday.
To those of you able to make it to Vicarage Road on Sunday (I do appreciate without the trains running this may make it very difficult for some), thank you as ever for getting behind the team and supporting them. I look forward to seeing you there.
Finally, as we continue our preparations for the Boxing Day clash with Saracens I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.
During week commencing 22nd April Harlequins will launch an innovative, new Membership Scheme which will replace the existing Season Ticket Holder Programme. Further details of the scheme will be announced in due course.