Rowland Winter has challenged his players to bounce back from their heavy home defeat at the hands of Ealing when they visit Yorkshire Carnegie on Sunday.
According to their director of rugby, Cov’s error-strewn performance made uncomfortable viewing during Monday’s review session, with all 22 players guilty of making more than one individual mistake.
And with a tricky away trip against one of the Championship’s form sides to follow, the Blue-and-Whites are under no illusions about what is required.
“Last Saturday was unacceptable and our away form and results have been poor – there’s no hiding from that – so we need to make a step up in our performance level on Sunday,” Winter said.
“After the display against Ealing this is the first time this year that we didn’t welcome an extra day before playing again. In fact after dwelling on things during Saturday night and Sunday the boys were ready to go by Monday morning and training since has been very focused.
“I’m sure re-watching clips of the game multiple times and reading comments questioning their character also provide plenty of additional motivation.”
Coventry’s coaching group expects to finalise selection later than usual this week pending fitness assessments on three players.
“Sam Tuitupou is struggling with his recovery from last week and in particular his calf,” Winter advised.
“Andy Bulumakau also took a couple of knocks and Ben Nutley had to come off with a hip injury, so that might bring three of four other guys into the mix.
“The remainder have a great opportunity to go out at Carnegie and say ‘I didn’t represent myself very well last week – this is the real me.”
After losing eight of their opening ten league games, Sunday’s opponents have won six from eight since the turn of the year.
And Winter believes this is doubly praiseworthy given the financial uncertainty clouding the future of Chris Stirling’s squad.
“Carnegie’s off-field issues have been widely documented, but despite that a group of players who are potentially without a contract in a couple of months’ time are putting in some outstanding performances for each other,” he acknowledged.
“They are one of the most in-form sides in the Championship currently, so we have to go up there, show how much it means to wear the Cov badge.
“They are a set-piece dominated side who like to play the percentages and look for territory. If we can get our free-flowing game going then also execute the chances we create we’ll be in a good spot.
“When we played them at home in both the league and the cup we managed to make plenty of scoring opportunities, so we’re hoping for better weather than the last time we went up there when no-one was able to play any rugby.”