Four wins is the target as Bath Rugby chase Heineken Cup place
Bath Rugby are targeting four wins on the bounce as they steel themselves for a last-minute blitz on the top half of the Aviva Premiership table.
A top-six finish will guarantee Bath a place in next season's Heineken Cup – an absolutely basic goal for club chairman Bruce Craig.
Bath are two places and two points behind Gloucester, who currently sit sixth in the table, and while that is ground that could be made up in the course of a single weekend's rugby, the club's management is targeting nothing less than a full house over the next four games.
"It's not a situation of us asking, 'Can we do it?' – it's that we have to do it," said first-team coach Brad Davis.
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"The next five games – this is our season. We need to push on and achieve an automatic Heineken Cup place.
"If we get those four wins we will then know what we need to do at the Leicester game on the last day."
It will require a gigantic effort, with the first of those games taking place against league leaders Harlequins at The Stoop on Saturday, March 24.
That will be followed by a home match against play-off contenders Northampton Saints, a visit to mid-table Sale, and an encounter with strugglers Wasps at The Rec on April 21.
Bath then face a two-week gap until their final game of regular season against Leicester Tigers at Welford Road on May 5.
Should Bath pull off their ambitious plan for the next block of matches, then a spot in a Premiership semi-final is still a possibility.
The play-off zone is eight points away, with Northampton occupying fourth spot.
Bath have enjoyed a general uplift in form since the turn of the year, winning seven of their 11 matches, but Davis knows that if the four-from-four goal is to be achieved then it will require a further leap in performance.
"Our focus come Monday will be Quins first and foremost but all the remaining games are absolutely crucial," he said.
"Playing Harlequins away is going to be absolutely massive. It's going to require a huge amount of concentrated effort and commitment."
Davis admitted the pressure was on but said that was how it should be at The Rec.
"Just being at Bath with all the history we should feel pressure," he explained. "We should be driven as individuals to be the best we can because we are at such a prestigious club.
"Down on the touchline you definitely feel the frustration of the fans when we are not delivering the performances that are expected of us."