London Welsh head coach Justin Burnell is backing his side’s battling qualities to see them into the play-off final on Sunday.
The Exiles trail Leeds Carnegie by seven points after a a 38-31 first leg defeat in their Greene King IPA Championship semi-final at Headingley.
But Burnell said every time Welsh have lost this season they have come back fighting and will do so again at Oxford’s Kassam Stadium.
“The biggest thing that has come out of this year is we seem to thrive and play better under pressure,” he said.
“They are a resilient bunch of players. They never roll over and just get back into a good mindset.
“Pressure isn’t something that we have really discussed.
“We work on the basis of no excuses and as long as you give 100 percent, you can’t do much more than that.”
Burnell’s view was echoed by captain Tom May, who said: “When we have gone down, this team really fights and we have pulled together.
“We have a good bunch of lads.
“Seven points doesn’t really bother me as a target. Even if they score first, it doesn’t.
“We’ll start the game as if it’s 0-0 and play as well as we can. That’s all we can do.”
Welsh beat Leeds 31-24 and 19-10 in their regular season clashes and Burnell said there was no reason why they could not do that again.
“None whatsoever.” he said. “Back at home, we have got a nice little consistency going.
“Hopefully, we’ll have a bigger crowd and it’s all to play for.
“It’s a converted try, which is nothing. It is exciting times for us.”
Welsh will name their side today, with Burnell set to maintain his rotation policy.
“We never have the same XV going on the park and it won’t be the same on Sunday,” he said.
“We like consistency and we like rewarding players who train hard in the week.
“If you went down that route of playing the same old XV, I think the environment would change.
“So for us it is a bit of a no brainer. Training has gone really well and people have really put their hands up in respect of this weekend’s game.”
Latest Sport news
9:30am Friday 19th December 2014
John Campbell admits it would be difficult to keep his kit on if he was able to make an impact on debut for Oxford United tomorrow.
Interactive match preview: Appleton and Hylton on goals; Moore likens United to Real Madrid; Howard's future; Ashby; club stalwart departs + video
9:34am Friday 19th December 2014
Get ready for kick-off with our interactive preview of Oxford United's trip to Hartlepool
9:10am Friday 19th December 2014
THERE were times earlier this season when it felt like Danny Hylton was scoring in every game, but Oxford United’s top scorer is not getting weighed down by a sudden barren run in front of goal.
9:00am Friday 19th December 2014
FINDING a predator to turn dominance into goals has been an Achilles’ heel for Oxford United this season, but Michael Appleton is hopeful two candidates will emerge over the festive period.
8:50am Friday 19th December 2014
RONNIE Moore is braced for a tough first game in charge of Hartlepool United after comparing opponents Oxford United to Real Madrid.
8:00am Friday 19th December 2014
ABOUT 150 supporters have taken advantage of Oxford United’s offer of free transport to tomorrow’s game at Hartlepool United.
7:30am Friday 19th December 2014
North Leigh boss Mark Gee admitted he is ‘wary’ of struggling Wantage Town as his side travel to Alfredian Park in Division 1 South & West of the Evo-Stik Southern League tomorrow, writes Matthew Bruce.
7:20am Friday 19th December 2014
A calf injury to Dan Gardner has exacerbated Kidlington’s injury concerns ahead of the visit of Highworth Town in the Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division.
7:20am Friday 19th December 2014
Oxford City boss Justin Merritt is targeting a Vanarama Conference North play-off finish after seeing rival teams fail to take advantage of games in hand, writes Matthew Bruce.