There is no mistaking it; this is the worst position we have been in, in the four years I have been at NEC Harlequins. To start the season with five straight defeats and have failed to perform with any consistency in a number of those games has left us adrift at the foot of the Zurich Premiership table with a tremendous amount of work to be done.
As a team we have under performed. Not particularly in any one area, but rather in different areas each week. Against London Irish it was our ball control, against Northampton our defence, against Bath our set-piece, and at Worcester last week both our ball control and our ability to clear our lines.
Despite the situation we find ourselves in, the attitude of the players has been tremendous. Naturally, we have spent time analysing what we are doing wrong and why we have not been able to get our own game going at times, but both in the meeting room and on the training park the application and concentration that the players have shown has been first class this week. We are not pretending that it will be easy to get ourselves out of this 'mess,' but we have the quality of people both on and off the pitch to ensure that we do.
We are only too well aware of the disappointment and frustration that our supporters are feeling at the moment; we do not want to be bottom of the Zurich Premiership any more than you do. However, I can assure you that every effort is being made both on the training park and behind the scenes at the training ground to ensure that this situation changes as quickly as possible.
On the injury front, we are still missing a number of players, including Jim Evans, James Hayter, Mike Worsley and Mel Deane, but we are hopeful that Maurice Fitz Gerald will be fit for this Saturday's (9th October) game against Gloucester. One or two other players are carrying small knocks from last weekend, but they should all be fit and available for selection.
On Monday evening (4th October) our Second XV won a close encounter against London Irish to record their fourth win out of four in this seasons Zurich A League. There were good performances from Nick Easter, Mark Lambert and Roy Winters, as well as the opportunity for Matt Henjak to get on the pitch for the first time since arriving from Australia last week.
Our next A league game against London Wasps has been postponed until February, so the Second XV will next be in action at the Stoop on Monday 8th November against Saracens.
Tomorrow afternoon we travel to Gloucester as part of our preparations for the game at Kingsholm on Saturday. Gloucester are a fine side with Andy Gommersall playing particularly well at the moment. We know it will be a tough challenge on Saturday afternoon, but there is no better way to start putting things right than to play one of the best teams in the country and to perform well against them. It is up to us to do so; to perform at Kingsholm on Saturday afternoon and to provide ourselves with a foundation to build on over the coming weeks.
As ever, your support is greatly appreciated by the team and while it may be difficult to make yourselves heard at Kingsholm, we all appreciate you being there.
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.