Highland head coach Davie Carson has called for his side to get back to basics when they host Heriot’s Blues in National 1 this weekend.
The Inverness outfit have fallen to defeat in their opening two matches, with last weekend’s 43-3 loss at Kelso prompting some strong words from Carson.
The Highland head coach took issue with the attitude shown by his players on the day, saying his side was “barely recognisable” from previous successful campaigns.
Having been encouraged by the response shown by his players in training this week, Carson is confident of an improved display at Canal Park.
Carson said: “We had a good session on Tuesday to clear the air with everyone, and they worked really hard for an hour and a half.
“The result takes care of itself if you work really hard, put the effort in and use the head. It’s just what we need to do.
“The performance on Saturday is key for myself, Brian Bell and the coaches.
“The performances have not been great, and the structure has not been great compared to what we have trained at.
“It’s just about executing under pressure, that’s what sport is all about. It’s all right when you are running through unopposed, but when the pressure is on you have got to execute the skills.
“A performance we can move forward from and build on is essential this week, and we will see what happens with the scoreboard.”
Carson knows a difficult challenge lies in wait for his side this weekend, with Heriot’s having defeated Cartha Queen’s Park 59-0 last week having opened the campaign with a tightly-contested 26-15 loss to Melrose.
He added: “It’s going to be a really tough game for us. At home we always feel we will have an advantage, although I think Heriot’s were the only side that beat us at home and away the last time we played so they will be coming up quite confident.
“It’s a tough division we are in, but we just need to get that first win under our belt and we will hopefully get a bit of momentum going.”
Highland will welcome a number of experienced players back on Saturday, with Lewis Sinclair, Stuart MacDonald Butler, Rory Cross and Johnny Milton all in contention, while Stevie Murray is also nearing a return.
Carson added: “There have been quite a lot of changes. We had quite a settled side for two or three years, but we have had quite a few new guys come in.
“Of the eight starting in the pack, five were new to it and new to this level as well.
“We need to give them a bit of time just to get up to speed with National 1 rugby.”