London Scottish acting head coach James Buckland knows only too well nothing can be won at this stage of the season, but plenty can be lost.
Buckland’s side, currently fifth in the Championship table, host London Welsh in the British & Irish Cup tomorrow knowing two points or more will guarantee them a place in the quarter-finals, while the visitors need at least a win to stand a chance of progress.
It is a far cry from 12 months ago when the Athletic Ground outfit were simply focusing on making sure they remained in the second tier of English rugby come the end of the campaign.
It will be the third time the two teams have faced each other this term and Buckland believes the result of this match could have serious ramifications for the rest of the campaign.
“We have not won anything yet this season, but we can certainly lose a lot at this stage of the season,” he said.
“It is a huge game in terms of both competitions and we have to approach this game to win and everything else will look after itself.
“It is so close in the league table at the moment. We beat London Welsh before Christmas and were up to second and one defeat has seen us slip to fifth.
“There is a long way to go this season, but we have to make sure we keep winning games of rugby because we cannot afford to slip up between now and the end of the season.”
Buckland has been in temporary charge of the squad since the departure of Simon Amor for the England Sevens head coach role earlier this season.
And, while he has had no assurances over his future, he is more than happy to continue a job he has grown to love.
“They asked me to do the job and I have done it to the best of my ability,” he said.
“We had a tough pre-season, but we have kept a bit of continuity in terms of the squad and the management team and things have gone from there really.
“I’m loving coaching the boys and plotting to win games of rugby. People think we just make it up as we go along, but there is a lot of hard work going into this.”