Steve Tandy has told his Ospreys they have to beat the Dragons on Friday before they can talk about genuine recovery.
The head coach took satisfaction from his team’s double bonus point defeat at Saracens in the European Champions Cup, but the 36-34 scoreline was still that – a defeat.
That is now seven in succession for the Ospreys and despite the massive improvement in standards at the home of the European champions, they have lost 10 out of the 11 matches they have played when pre-season fixtures are added in.
“We have got to pick it up and get the ball rolling against the Dragons on Friday,” said Tandy.
“I don’t think anyone is talking about turning it around. But I don’t think we’ve played badly over the last three games.
“We’ve played Clermont and Saracens, and I know they are losses ,but in fairness with the resource we’ve got they’ve come out and played pretty well. I thought we were pretty unlucky against the Scarlets as well.
“I don’t think it’s a team that lacks confidence but it’s important now that we recover as we’ve got a few beaten bodies.”
Saracens, chasing a third successive title, were 17-7 down but despite running in five tries and staying ahead for the majority of the second period, the Ospreys kept hitting back.
Tandy’s side finished with four tries and two bonus points although Saracens still sit top of Pool 2 with 10 points having started their campaign with a 57-13 thumping of Northampton last week.
Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall said: “Give Ospreys all the credit. They played phenomenally well.”
Tandy added: “When you look at it, perceived better teams have come here and got swamped.
“They put an unbelievable shift in and blew Northampton away last week. We’ve played pretty well last week but got dinged up pretty badly. Scott Otten, Dan Baker, Cracknell, Webb, then Lydiate and Tipuric pulling out and Sam Cross and Guy Mercer coming in and doing unbelievable jobs.
“We’ve ended up with Gareth Thomas in the back row, Sam Cross on the wing. At the end of the day it is a results business but it is special for me to be here in charge of a team that puts a shift in like it did today, to be able to look back on a game where there’s a little bit of disappointment in coming to Saracens with not everything going your way. The way the group fought was sensational.”