Exeter coach demands response in Belfast
Exeter 8 Clermont 35
Exeter boss Rob Baxter is expecting his players to show some anger against Ulster in Belfast on Saturday after their European Champions Cup campaign began in miserable fashion against French heavyweights Clermont Auvergne.
Clermont, the 2015 European runners-up and current Top 14 leaders, made an immediate statement of intent as they claimed a five-try, 35-8 pool victory at Sandy Park.
"In all the time we've been in Europe, we have always known it's been a big challenge, but we've always said as long as we put our best foot forward we will deal with it and take the highs and the lows," Chiefs head coach Baxter said.
"Today feels a bit of a low to me, really, because I don't think that was a level of performance that is anything like we can achieve or have achieved in the past.
"I am not saying the boys are not working hard, but there were a lot of errors in there, and our Achilles' heel this season of conceding some soft points out of very innocuous situations reared its head again."
Exeter face a testing Pool Five clash against Ulster in Belfast on Saturday and Baxter added: "I've said to the lads that the response I am expecting is a little bit of anger.
"We've lost plenty of games - and against far worse teams than Clermont - in the time I've been coaching the club, but I am expecting us to be a bit angry with some of the things that went out there tonight.
"If that's our response, I will be pleased. What I don't want our response to be is the guys just come into training and get on with things and sooner or later our season will ignite."