'We must be strong'
MAINTAINING mental strength is Gloucester's biggest challenge as they seek to stride up the Premiership table, believes Nigel Davies.
Gloucester boss Davies was delighted his side rediscovered their gritty, physical edge in Saturday's 26-24 victory over Northampton Saints at Kingsholm.
After an underwhelming season-opening 22-16 defeat to Sale Sharks, Gloucester were then undone by Nick Wood's red card at Saracens.
The Cherry and Whites battled hard a man down but were always going to slip to a loss, the eventual scoreline reading 44-12.
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Gloucester avoided their worst-ever Premiership start by seeing off Northampton at the weekend.
The Kingsholm men are far from happy with eighth place and just one win from three matches to date this term though.
And now Davies admits they must carry that restored spirit into Sunday's testing trip to Newcastle Falcons (kick-off 3pm).
Davies said: "We've had a tough two weeks, we've had to deal with the performance against Sale, and then it was difficult after Saracens.
"Last week it was a very short week, we didn't train that much, we just focused on getting the boys mentally and physically right.
"We were dead-set on going into that game in the right place, and we managed it.
"But I said to the boys after the Saints match, that's what we've got to do as a given every week.
"That's probably our biggest challenge.
"The talent is there, but it means nothing unless you can turn up in that mental state every week.
"And there's a lot to that, it's easy to say, but it's far harder to deliver.
"There's obviously a huge responsibility on us as coaches to guide the players through that as well."