Blair out to catch the eye

Edinburgh skipper targeting extended Cup run

By Joe Drabble.   Last Updated: 08/10/08 12:52pm

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Blair: Hoping for a change of fortunes

Blair: Hoping for a change of fortunes

Sky Bet

Mike Blair has told skysports.com he hopes a fine Heineken Cup run with Edinburgh will help him cement a place on the Lions tour next year.

WATCH Edinburgh v Leinster, live on Sky Sports 2 and HD 2, Saturday from 1pm

"These teams have got exceptional players and I think there are potential Heineken Cup winners in our Pool."
Mike Blair Quotes of the week

Edinburgh kick-off their quest for European glory against Leinster on Saturday, and Blair's men have the added incentive of knowing the final will be staged at home ground Murrayfield.

However, after finishing bottom of their Pool last season, Blair is well aware of the magnitude of the task ahead.

But with fellow Pool Two hopefuls Wasps and Castres Olympique suffering indifferent starts to the 2009/09 domestic campaign, Blair hopes his side can capitalise on their early season slip-ups.

"Every year you come out of the draw not necessarily disappointed but realising what a tough competition it is and just how hard it is to get out of your Pool," Blair told skysports.com.

"The advantage is that Castres aren't going too well in the French Top 14 Championship at the moment and Wasps are struggling in the Guinness Premiership.

False position

"But saying that, once the Heineken Cup starts the form book goes out of the window.

"These teams have got exceptional players and I think there are potential Heineken Cup winners in our Pool."

Edinburgh's own form has been poor heading into the opening round of European fixtures - the Scottish outfit winning just one of their opening five Magners League matches.

However, despite the statistics, Blair feels his team are in a false position and is hopeful of returning to winning ways against Leinster on Saturday.

"We've not got off to a great start this season, we have lost a couple of close games, games that we could have potentially won," he said.

"The last two fixtures, instead of having narrow defeats, if we had won those games we could be sitting third/fourth in the Magners League right now.

Hope

"We have not been playing as well as we could have. There have been a lot of elementary errors creeping into our game that we need to sort out before the weekend.

"We are looking forward to Leinster who we had a bad loss to three of four weeks ago and this gives us another opportunity to have another go at them.

"Leinster haven't got a very good record coming up to Murrayfield. We've had a couple of good wins against them in the past."

Speaking of his hopes of winning a place in Ian McGeechan's Lions squad to tour South Africa, Blair said: "The Heineken Cup is a great opportunity to play at a high level and show what I can do.

"I talk about building blocks, ultimately I have got to play well for Edinburgh to represent Scotland. I have got to play well for Scotland before I get selected for anything else.

"There are things I have got to look at and the Lions is a long way away."

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