Delve hangs on to cup hopes
Cherry and Whites skipper refuses to rule out quarter-finals
By Rachel Griffiths. Last Updated: 15/12/09 11:52am
Delve: Insists Gloucester can qualify
Gloucester captain Gareth Delve is adamant his team are still in with a chance of making the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup.
"It is still there until it is impossible not to"
Gareth Delve Quotes of the week
The West Country side, who lost 33-11 to Magners League leaders Glasgow Warriors on Friday, are bottom of Pool Two but mathematically are able to qualify for the knockout stages.
Gloucester still have three crucial games left to play against Glasgow, leaders Biarritz and Newport Gwent Dragons, but Welsh international Delve believes they are still in the running.
"It is still there until it is impossible not to," said the number eight.
"We know Biarritz have opened up a big gap at the top and it is going to be difficult to claw that back.
"But first and foremost we need a big performance against Glasgow this Sunday, after that we need massive performances against Biarritz and Newport Gwent Dragons.
"Then we will see where we end up at the end of the group stages but obviously we would love to progress through."
The top team from each of the six groups will automatically advance to the final eight, with the two best runner-ups joining them for the critical ties in April.
French side Clermont Auvergne and defending champions Leinster have already notched up 11 and 10 points respectively as leading second-placed teams in pools three and six, making Gloucester's task even more difficult with just four points earned from their first three games.
The Cherry and Whites took two wins from three in Guinness Premiership action ahead of the Glasgow clash, but Delve believes their below-par performance at Firhill undid all their previous hard work.
"We have improved week on week and that just was not there on Friday," added Delve.
"We felt we had left this kind of performance behind.
"We had a few lacklustre games and we felt we had moved on as a group.
"We have been moving in the right direction and in the last few games we had shown improvement."