“If we have a problem, it will come from the inside, not the outside”: the MHR wants to cure its headache in Challenge

“If we have a problem, it will come from the inside, not the outside”: the MHR wants to cure its headache in Challenge

Patrice Collazo et les Montpelliérains en quête d’un second souffle. Midi Libre – JEAN MICHEL MART

The MHR welcomes Ulster this Sunday in Challenge after spending two complicated weeks in Top 14. Montpellier knows the recipe for recreating a positive dynamic.

A dose of Challenge to take away the headache caused by the Top 14. The formula had worked in 2016 and 2021, two years where the MHR had imposed itself in the Europa Rugby League. It also worked last December, during a period when Montpellier was lost in the limbo of the Top 14, ending a series of eight consecutive defeats.

A positive dynamic was then created (13 matches, 10 victories). The Hérault club had come away from last place. A certain euphoria had set in. The last fortnight has calmed the enthusiasm. Two losses in a row at Toulon (54-7) and against Stade Français (10-12) were enough to put the migraine back on track. "We moved on to side", summarizes winger Gabriel Ngandebe.

L’emulation back

To avoid disaster, the staff adapted this week. "The two defeats scored. Monday, we let the players recover. Tuesday, we debriefed Stade Français. Quickly and factually. A match in which we were dominated in areas which were our strengths. Now the question is: "What are we doing to pick up the thread of what has worked in recent months ?"", asks manager Patrice Collazo.

L’emulation is a first track. She was chosen to face Ulster this Sunday, in the round of 16 of the Challenge. "We mobilize everyone, we don’no player drop out", assures Collazo. Concern the&rsquo ;entire staff to avoid the slightest negative vibe in the locker room, likely to disrupt a fragile balance.

"We don't have enough margin"

Second idea: stop looking at the results of others, or at least less. And master what is controllable. "The situation is sufficiently anxiety-inducing. We have to focus on us. If we have a problem, it will come from inside, not from outside. I told the players after the match against Oyonnax (39-35 victory), a moment when we had prospects of getting better in the ranking", continues the manager. "We don’not have enough margin to allow ourselves a less good day. We need to tick all the boxes from Monday to Friday to arrive on Saturday in good spirits. If we don't check one in a morning, it could have an impact."

"We are not going to collapse for two lost matches, we still have some", positive on second row Florian Verhaeghe. "If the Challenge can serve as a springboard for us, it’s a good thing", supports Ngandebe. The MHR knows the recipe.

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