There is no defence for Ulster being in disarray, says Neil Best
Lack of structure and gameplan is hurting province: Best
Former Ulster flanker Neil Best has warned the province face a winter of discontent if they can't fix their failing defence.
With four European contests, starting with Sunday's trip to Harlequins, and three inter-pros before the end of January, Les Kiss' side face a potentially defining block in their season.
Still third in their Guinness PRO14 conference, they need results over the next fortnight to avoid a fourth consecutive pool stage exit in the Champions Cup.
Recent performances against the Kings, Benetton and in Friday's draw with the Dragons have worried Best.
"Ulster have conceded 90 points in three games against teams who, between them, have only won five from 30," he said.
"While they may get a result or two against Harlequins, if Ulster continue to ship points like this, the series of games in January is going to be hard for the fans.
"Consistently patchy performances are in large part down to the way in which the players are being asked to play.
"We all know the talent in the Ulster backline, but the forwards need to be given the chance to play themselves into the game.
"It feels like there is a lack of a structure and gameplan."
Ulster go into this weekend's game having won one and lost one of their European contests, while Harlequins have lost to La Rochelle and Wasps.
The visitors expect to have Iain Henderson and Jacob Stockdale back for Sunday's game.