Noves : Players need to change their attitude

French Top 14 Rugby Champions Toulouse have denied that they are in crisis despite losing their second match of the season last weekend.


Fifty-eight-year-old coach Guy Noves who has guided the team to four European Cups and 10 French league titles during his 23 year tenure denies they are in crisis but says that the players needed to wake up and realise their lax attitude could cost them a place in the play-offs.


Toulouse lost 34-20 to Perpignan on Saturday – having trailed 27-6 at half-time – to leave them fifth in the Top 14 table seven points off unbeaten leaders Toulon after five matches.


“We conceded 67 points against Wasps several years ago,” said Noves, who was referring to the 77-17 thrashing by the English club in 1996 but they rebounded to win the French title


“Therefore then there wasn’t a crisis. Competitive sport is made up of good moments, less good ones, successes and failures.


“This weekend was more of a failure. However, it doesn’t lead me to question the work put in over many years. It is imperative, though, that we work hard and that will help us rebound and play better in our next match.”


Noves, who was a stylish winger as a player winning seven caps and collecting two French titles with Toulouse in 1985 and 1986, said the team was desperately trying to regain the form it had shown over several seasons.


“This is simply a team that is in the process of finding its reference points, who have experienced three successful years and who naturally believe the serious part of the season only gets underway in the play-offs.


“It is true that for 19 years we have regularly been involved in the title play-offs, and that has contributed to this lax attitude at the beginning of the season where one says that things only become important a little later.


“However, the players must realise that points lost are never recovered.


“Certain teams paid dearly in the past for such laxity and we don’t want to be one of them.”

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