With seven Zurich Premiership games to go and sitting 11th in the league table, clearly this Saturday's home game against Gloucester is important to everyone involved with NEC Harlequins, be it supporters, members, season ticket holders, players, coaches and staff.
Our preparation has gone well this week and the enthusiasm that all the players have shown in training reflects well on their approach to what is a difficult game against the team currently standing second in the table.
As I have reported over the last couple of weeks, our injury problems are rapidly disappearing. At this stage only Keith Wood and Bill Davison are not available for selection for this weekend's game. Keith is beginning to show real signs of improvement with his calf injury and should return to action sometime in March. Bill broke his hand against Northampton in January and he again should be back in action next month.
Subject to completing training today, we should see the return of Pat Sanderson and Dan Luger this weekend which will give our coaches John Kingston and Richard Hill a few selection headaches of the right sort for a change.
Of the longer term injuries, both Jim Evans and James Hayter are well into their recovery programmes and progressing well. Both could be ready to return to action before the end of this season, if we can find some opposition for our Second XV to play. Having had three Premiership clubs cancel Second XV fixtures already in 2002, we are now turning to Wales in the hope of playing a fixture next week against Cardiff's Second XV - probably in Cardiff.
The news on our captain David Wilson is not so good. Having recently stepped up the intensity of his training, his knee has not reacted well. While this is a set back, it is far too early to say what the long-term effect will be. Any player coming back from such a long lay-off will face a set back at some stage, but we will continue to liase with David and the Queensland medical team to monitor his progress.
Following the resignation of Phillipe Saint-Andre as Director of Rugby at Gloucester earlier this week, it is likely that we will face an emotional Gloucester squad at the Stoop on Saturday. In his time at Gloucester, Phillipe has taken then from 11th to second in the league and turned them into a far more consistent team. I am sure that everyone at Gloucester will wish Philippe well and want to give him a winning send off. It is up to us to stop them.
We know what we will face with Gloucester - a strong pack, a good scrummage and the best driving lineout in the league. In the backs they are strong and have pace, and at fly half a kicking machine in Ludovic Mercier who is nearly as good as our own Paul Burke.
But, no matter how good Gloucester may be, if we perform to the best of our ability both as a team and as individuals, if we control the number of errors we make and the number of penalties we give away, then we will win.
See you on Saturday - the first of many big days coming up at the Stoop over the next few weeks.
Harlequins fan Ed Atkin won the Etihad Airways 'Up and Under' competition at the Northampton Saints game. As a result, he and a friend have won a holiday to Abu Dhabi courtesy of Etihad Airways and the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority.