Mike Tindall: There will be no Redpath sideshow for Gloucester Rugby
FORGET the Sale Sharks soap opera – Mike Tindall believes Gloucester have far more pressing concerns this weekend.
Player-backs coach Tindall has called on the Cherry and Whites to shelve the sideshows at Kingsholm on Saturday – and focus on raising the Nigel Davies era to greater heights.
Admitting any thoughts of the Bryan Redpath saga will only distract minds – and play into Sale's hands – Tindall said Gloucester's biggest ambition is to replace one more brick in the Kingsholm fortress.
The 34-year-old centre yearns for a return to the days when the Cherry and Whites stood firm on near-impenetrable home ground.
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And he considers that challenge far more important than any score-settling against former Gloucester boss Redpath and Sale chief executive Steve Diamond in Saturday's Premiership clash (kick-off 12pm).
Just hours after his horse Monbeg Dude claimed maiden Cheltenham victory, Tindall helped Gloucester see off London Welsh 46-20 in LV=Cup action at Kingsholm on Saturday.
If three games in two weeks have proved a hectic league break, Tindall said Gloucester have maintained plenty of momentum to carry back into the Premiership.
He explained: "We know it's going to be a massive game for the fans, and it's also a massive game for us too – but probably for different reasons.
"This game is crucial for us in terms of where we're going and how our season is developing.
"We want to make Kingsholm a very difficult place to come and play, and also we want to get back to where we were a few years ago where no one came here and won.
"And that's our challenge.
"We'll go away, do our homework, treat it like a normal game – and although the external factors will be there, we've got to focus on what our job is.
"It would be counter-productive to let everything that's happened around the wider situation cloud what we do in any case.
"That maybe was the case with the game here last year, and we won't let that happen again.
"From our point of view we've just got to keep pushing in the same direction we have all year.
"We've got to keep getting stronger at our game.
"Freddie Burns has been awesome at putting us in the right areas of the field this year.
"And that's what we've got to keep doing.
"If we can keep control of that we're a tough side to beat, so that's the plan."
If Sale tried to play out their recruitment of Redpath all-too publicly when the former Scotland scrum-half left Kingsholm last year, Steve Diamond and co have hardly changed tack.
Shifted from rugby director to head coach, Redpath has had to endure Diamond assuming the overall coaching control that he relinquished only in the summer.
The Sharks' chief executive continues to claim Kiwi John Mitchell will shortly be installed full-time at the club – meanwhile his South African employers the Golden Lions still reject that out of hand.
The parallels with Redpath's Gloucester departure are clear, but Tindall believes this is just one more issue the Cherry and Whites must put aside.
From narrow defeat at the Ospreys through slender Fiji victory and on to the six-try London Welsh win, a host of youngsters have eagerly seized their first-team chances.
Whoever the personnel, Tindall has been encouraged by the one constant – the unyielding stubbornness that has already proved pivotal to a host of victories this term.
Calling for more of the same against Sale, Tindall continued: "As a whole week it's great for those guys to experience, Friday night at the Ospreys, to come back and just miss out – that was a good learning curve.
"And then to play any international side, that's a big honour.
"To come through that, stick it out and get the win – that was pretty big.
"That's been one of the pillars we've built this season on, staying in the contest, having that dog.
"I was reading in the programme people saying that the dog's back, and I hope it is.
"It's been there every game for us and it needs to stay there.
"It's a difficult season that we came into, but we've made no excuses from the off.
"We've wanted to be hard to beat, home and away, and we've managed to do that so far.
"The job is far from done though, we've got to keep representing the jersey as we've started, and if we can do that then we'll be in the mix come the end of the year."