Noves confident Toulouse can still make play offs

Toulouse head coach Guy Noves says that he is still confident that the former Top14 Champions will still qualify for the championship playoffs despite their big loss to Clermont on Sunday.

Sixty-year-old Noves has been coaching Toulouse since 1993 and still feels that a place in the top six teams is still within reach of the four time Heineken Cup champions.

Noves played for Toulouse as a wing between 1975 to 1988 before he started coaching with the club.

Toulouse are currently eighth in the domestic table but just three points behind sixth-placed Bordeaux while leaders Clermont are 12 points ahead with 11 matches to play.

“I’m confident and we saw a lot of positives as well as a massive desire on the part of the players,” Noves said two days after the 24-6 mauling suffered at the hands of Clermont

“When there is that kind of spirit, I think we can maintain a great deal of optimism,” added the Frenchman.

“We are going to try and win matches and obviously we’re going to play with great ambition,” he added ahead of the home match against bottom club La Rochelle on Saturday.

“We saw that for Castres (30-15 winners over La Rochelle on Saturday), that it wasn’t so easy. We know that La Rochelle are coming off a big victory over us and it’s a team that scored 30 or 40 points in the first match (37-25 defeat).

“Already, we are talking about it and I hope we will be ready and mobilised to tackle this kind of match.

The match against La Rochelle, according to Noves, will also be a last chance for some players to “show their qualities” ahead of the decisive European Cup match against Bath on January 18.

“I watched Bath play against Leicester again yesterday and it was monstrous what was going on (Leicester won 17-8).

Toulouse won at Bath 21-19 the first time the teams met in the pool stages.

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