WHEN Gloucester geared up to take on Bath at Kingsholm a fortnight back, derby supremacy had a motivational rival.
The Cherry and Whites lined up their fierce West Country foes, keen to extend a healthy winning streak over them – but also ward off lingering frustration from home defeat to London Irish.
After dispatching the Exiles twice in two-straight December weeks in the Amlin Challenge Cup, Gloucester then slipped up 18-12 to Irish at Kingsholm on January 5.
Beating Bath would be the ideal way to banish that blip.
The 32-5 capitulation that followed sent shockwaves through the Kingsholm camp.
And now scrum-half Dan Robson has demanded Gloucester complete their atonement – by seeing off Worcester at Kingsholm on Friday night (kick-off 7.45pm).
Home improvement is the order of the week then.
"Last time we played at Kingsholm we let everyone down," conceded the in-form 20-year-old.
"We let ourselves down too, and we've got to recover from that.
"We had only had that victory over Mont de Marsan to come back after our home defeat to London Irish in the league as well
"So this is a chance to make up for both of those hopefully, and put in a good performance for the fans."
Citing missed first-half chances as crucial to Sunday's 33-29 defeat at Wasps, Robson remains confident Gloucester can tighten up into a top-four team.
He continued: "We were slightly disappointed not to win that game.
"We weren't clinical enough in the first half.
"That was the most disappointing thing – we didn't take our chances in the first half.
"We should have added more points when we were on top.
"They just picked off our mistakes, and that's what it often comes down to.
"We always work on skills and plans, but you still need that dog and commitment, and that really shone through again.
"The spirit of the squad is so strong, and we need to keep our heads high after the last two weeks.
"We dominated parts of that game, but we didn't control it overall, and that's the next step.
"When we play at our top pace then teams will struggle to live with us.
"We scored two tries from nearly nothing in our own half at the end there, and that's what we've got to push towards.
"It will go down to the wire this year, so every point matters and these two could prove crucial in the top-four run."
All Black World Cup winner Jimmy Cowan's season-ending knee ligament damage leaves Robson and Dave Lewis vying for Gloucester's starting nine shirt.
Relishing the added responsibility, Robson said he and Lewis gain confidence from having former Otago Highlander Cowan firmly in their corner.
He added: "We're all gutted for Jimmy because he's worked so hard and cemented his place in the team really well.
"It's massively disappointing for him but he still works with me and Dave and he really wants us to step up and that's what we've got to do.
"Both Dave and I are still pretty young and we've still got a lot to learn, and having Jimmy around is awesome.
"We've just got to keep playing, keep doing what we do, and just keep performing."