Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

One win is all it takes, says Humphreys

Ian Humphreys

Ian Humphreys believes Ulster are just one win away from cracking their early season blues.

Matt Williams’ side are currently languishing at the bottom of the Magners League table after three successive defeats.

Although the combined losing margin of defeat for all three games has just been 10 points, the fact that Ulster have already lost twice at Ravenhill, to the Scarlets and on Friday night to the lowly Newport Gwent Dragons, has left the province’s supporters hugely frustrated.

Some sections of the 7,885 crowed could be heard to boo the team at the final whistle following the 16-14 defeat to the Dragons as memories of last season’s disastrous season were rekindled.

Former Leicester Tigers out-half Humphreys, who scored a try on his competitive debut on Friday night off the bench in a late rally that almost snatched victory, said he understood the supporters’ frustrations but insisted that there was no major cause for concern.

“In my second year at Leicester when they won two out of three tournaments and lost the other one in the final, they had a spell of three or four games when they couldn’t get a win,” said Humphreys.

“They lost at home to bitter rivals Northampton and then lost to Worcester and everyone was saying that Pat Howard (the then Leicester coach) should go.

“But we turned it around. It took the senior players to really drag it up.

“The key is not to panic. I don’t think we should change too much to our training. What we are doing is good – it is just one win that is going to change everything.”

The problem for Ulster is that their next assignment is to the Ospreys on Saturday, where Sean Holley’s side have blazed an early trail.

Having won their first three games, the Ospreys, including former Ulster wing Tommy Bowe (pictured), will be determined to bounce back from their narrow defeat at Leinster on Friday.

Humphreys, however, said Ulster were ready to take up the challenge.

“We know the fans are disappointed but they are not nearly as disappointed as we are,” he added.

“Obviously people are going to be start thinking ‘why can’t we win?’

“But the boys who have come in thankfully aren’t burdened by last season and we have drawn a line under last season.

“And I really, genuinely think on Saturday that we will give the Ospreys a really good game.

“They will probably think they are going to smash us but I would be very surprised if we don’t go out there and push them very close.

“We’re not a million miles away from winning a game which is all we need.”

Gavin Henson could be in line for a return to the Ospreys side on Saturday after a lengthy lay-off.

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