Chris Bell admits London Wasps are still looking to spark their season into life
By Chris Burton. Last Updated: 19/11/13 5:05pm
Chris Bell admits London Wasps are still searching for consistency, but hopes their vast experience will shine through.
The 2013/14 campaign has been something of a mixed bag for the capital outfit, with one step forward invariably followed by two in the opposite direction.
Pre-season performances bode well, but their first five outings in the Aviva Premiership brought four defeats.
The tide has been turned somewhat since then, but back-to-back defeats in the LV=Cup have all but ended their interest in that competition.
Experienced centre Bell concedes that expectations have not been met, but remains optimistic.
He told Sky Sports: "In the first few weeks of the season, we didn't really get the results we were after. We set ourselves a target, and we didn't get near it. We weren't accurate enough and the Aviva Premiership is a tough environment and if you're not quite on your game then you are going to come unstuck, which we did in the first five games.
"After that we started to play a bit better, but there is still vast room for improvement - as most teams will say. We are very much looking to improve all aspects of our game and keep up the pressure."
One positive for Dai Young's men is their improved Premiership form, and attention will revert back to the pursuit of precious points at home to Bath on Sunday.
Bell added: "We had back-to-back wins against Leicester and Gloucester, so that's a good plus. There is lots to be positive about.
"We are starting to find our identity a bit as a team and as a squad. We had quite a few changes in personnel over the summer, so that's all started to bed down."
"I'm sure if you spoke to most clubs at this time of the season, there are lots of parts of the game to keep working on and keep improving. This season will gather pace and the rugby will pick up, so we need to make sure we keep working on our game week on week.
"We are starting to find our identity a bit as a team and as a squad. We had quite a few changes in personnel over the summer, so that's all started to bed down. It will be just a few tweaks and reinforcing that we're trying to do."
As club captain - having had that honour bestowed upon him over the summer - Bell has taken on the role of on-field general, but insists that he has plenty of willing lieutenants alongside him.
He said of skippering the side: "It's a nice thing to have. When Dai asked me to do the job in the summer, it was something I jumped at. I'm very proud about it. It's a club with a very rich history and it's a wonderful job.
"They are a great bunch of players and I don't really feel like my job has changed at all, I just have to try and win the toss before the match and everything else has carried on as normal. I'm thoroughly enjoying it at the moment."
Wasps' squad certainly is brimming with players who have been there and done it, both domestically and internationally, and Bell hopes those attributes will serve them well as the season starts to take shape and the demands of a tough winter start to set in.
He said: "We've got the likes of James Haskell coming back to fitness now, that's great. Ashley Johnson, Andy Goode, Hugo Southwell, Tom Palmer, there is a vast amount of experience in our club. And some of the young players - Elliot Daly, Sam Jones, Christian Wade - have played a lot of rugby, they are starting to breakthrough and become leaders on the field as well. It's a great position to be in.
"I think everyone with experience tries to impart some of that onto the younger players. I was very fortunate when I was younger to play with Will Greenwood, Dan Luger, players like that, and their experience was invaluable. You do try and set a good example and lead from the front and that's what we will be trying to do."
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