Dec 15, 2017
Sanderson: "The Players Have Been Unbelievably Positive"
Saracens defence coach Alex Sanderson says that his players are in a positive frame of mind as they prepare to travel to France to face Clermont on Sunday afternoon.
A two-time Champions Cup winner with Sarries, Sanderson was full of praise for what he described as the squad’s resilience as they look to bounce back from a tricky run of results.
Sanderson explained: “The players have been unbelievably positive and they always surprise me with their ability and resilience to bounce back, to get on with a new job.
“Obviously we’re gutted about results but we’re an organisation that bases ourselves on performance and what motivates performance; that is how we support each other.
“The first day back this week, we’ve come back to what we know works for us in terms of our fundamentals, how connected we can be, how supportive we can be and we’ve got some real role clarity as to what we need to do this weekend.
“Hopefully those things build confidence and positivity as the week goes on and we build into Sunday.”
The Men in Black can reclaim top-spot in Pool 2, after losing it on Monday evening, with a win in Clermont and Sanderson says that it is easier preparing to play a team so soon after the previous fixture
He said: “It’s always easier preparing to play a team straight after you’ve already played them.
“With the environment we have here and the amount of work we do analysis-wise; we’ve had a good look at them, but more of an in-depth look at ourselves and what we need to do better because Clermont are good, but they’re not 46-points better than us.
“We feel there’s a long way to go and much more of an improvement we can get from ourselves.”
The former England international also described the processes that affect a turnaround in form and says that this weekend is the first step that must be taken as Sarries strive to recapture the form that has seen them win back-to-back Champions Cup trophies.
“We’ve got to get better day-by-day and week-by-week”, Sanderson added, “Obviously the next game is the first step in that progression to get back to our best; we’ve hit top form in periods of games this season so we know we’re capable of it with this group of players we’ve got.
“Form’s a funny thing, it’s reliant on a lot of things: playing personnel, confidence and even time of the year with people going away and coming back to us from international duty. Taking all of that into account, we’ve just gone back to what we know works for us.
“We’ve got a group of people who’ve been together for a long time, a lot of our players have grown up here at the club; so we know fundamentally, through the years and in these times of adversity, what works for us
“It’s about coming back to what we know and not looking to wave that magic wand to come up with a new principle or tactic.”