Ulster's Rory Best assures fans that the team are still on the right track ahead of tonight's PRO12 visit from champions Connacht to Kingspan stadium.
It has been an up and down season for coach Les Kiss's men, with last week's loss to Clermont denting their European hopes, but Irish skipper has pleaded for patience that he insists will be rewarded.
"It's frustrating at times but we are a work in progress," said Best who is sporting a black eye after the clash in France.
"I see people getting frustrated and I see supporters getting frustrated but I see a lot more positives about where we're going than maybe you see if you're just judging things solely on the pitch on a Friday and Saturday.
"Look, I feel we're going the right way. I do feel we've a long way to go but it does unfortunately take small steps."
Ulster Rugby v Connacht Rugby on Friday 23 December, kick-off 7.35pm.