Director of Rugby Stuart Hooper spoke to the press this afternoon ahead of Sunday's Round 22 showdown against Saracens as the Blue, Black and White hunt down their first play-off berth since making the Premiership final back in 2015.
On fate being in our own hands
“It is up to us and it is in our hands and this is the stage that we wanted to get to. We are not a group that sits around hoping that someone does us a favour, we are a group that works out how we can get the best out of each other and this weekend is no different.
“I have seen a lot that has been written about Saracens and how their time in the Premiership is coming to an end. We are in a chapter in our story and the guys are determined to go out there and fight for the points.”
On ‘quarter-final’ against Saracens
“If we win then we are in. That is our mentality and challenge. It is a good challenge we face and one that they boys relish. We have that mindset and we have an opportunity to go there and get a result.
On Saracens’ ‘last dance’
“It does make me chuckle slightly. The reality is I have been to Allianz Park 10 to 12 times as a player and off the pitch and I have never come up against a Saracens side that is not determined, who is not motivated or willing to put their body on the line. They have set the standard for what it means to compete in the Premiership and Europe, and I don’t expect anything different this weekend.”
On Sale Sharks speculation
“I have come straight from the training field and I know that there is speculation but that is all it is at the moment so I have no idea how it will impact this weekend. It is something that every club has been working with for the whole of pre-season so hopefully it is not the case, but it is just speculation right now.
“All the way through, it has been a dimension of your training week. If you go and speak to anyone, the training environments are different, these environments are incredibly safe with all of the checks that are done but it is something that is there.
“It is real, and it is happening. The diligence has to be applied to it but there is always the risk of it happening to any team because it is something that is going on in the wider world.”
On making the top four given Sale speculation
“They are all pretty giant If’s, but’s and maybe’s so let’s wait and see what happens but of course we have competed hard all the way through and we want to keep doing that so hopefully we get past that point.”