Apr 9 2009 By Matthew Leslie
GLASGOW Warriors regained the winning touch in a 38-21 win at Llanelli Scarlets last week but boss Sean Lineen is demanding his squad raise their game from here on in.
The week before saw them outplayed against league leaders Munster who had fielded their reserve team - a performance which still irks the ex-Scotland centre.
It wasn't that long ago that Glasgow were second in the table pushing the Irish aces but have since dropped dramatically.
And the question is, are there cracks in the good ship Warriors or are they victims of an horrendous blip? Lineen said: "I don't think there are cracks on the ship. It's a case of us just not being good enough.
"We've made massive progress from three years ago when back then, we finished last in the league. While the highs have been high, the lows have been low.
"The players have to understand they can never relax. There are parts of our game that haven't been up to scratch - such as giving away soft tries.
"Certain individuals have been doing this and this is why they're not playing.
"Take the Munster defeat. when they scored from a line-out drive. That's unheard of in this day and age but it happened and certain people missed the Llanelli game not just because of that but for other errors that led to them scoring.
"The gameplans throughout this season have been spot on yet because of individuals straying from them, we have lost certain games. In Johnnie Beattie's case, his mistake for Munster's first try the other week resulted in him doing his hamstring.
"Dan (Parks) made a bad error for their second - not to mention the kicks that he missed - which was why he was benched for the Llanelli match." When Lineen took the job in 2006, Glasgow were on their way to finishing bottom of the league.
But under his stewardship, progress has been made with 7th and 5th placed finishes respectively.
However, a lot of work still needs to be done this season if they are to match - let alone top - last season's finish.
He added: "We have made progress during my first two full seasons in charge but I would hate to think that some players are still patting themselves on the back because of it.
"I don't think there's a level of comfort within the squad but we have been guilty of not converting pressure into points while we have also given away far too many penalties.
"Against Munster, we committed the cardinal sin of giving away 20 plus points at home. You do that and it is likely you're going to lose.
"Munster were absolutely ruthless and we were not. That's what you need to win trophies - it's not rocket science.
"It was the crowd I felt sorry for that night. They turned up in great numbers - double what Edinburgh had against Connacht - and we serve them that. Not good enough.
"The frustrating thing is that we have a squad of quality players who have lost some form. Dan for example has not had as good as season as the last. Hence
Ruaridh Jackson has taken his place.
Every player goes through a bad patch although I haven't gone down the road of telling them that they had best pull their finger out if they wish to be here.
"I prefer to try and get them focussed on the next game ahead and bring their good form back to the table.
"With regard to next season, there are a couple of key areas that will be looked at.
Unless the current crop of guys can get their acts together then we will try and bring in new faces who can do a better job.
"No more so than up front - we need to look at that area more closely as the contact area is becoming a constant issue.
"We need to show the supporters, sponsors and ourselves that Glasgow is a club keen to do well.
"We need to keep moving in the right direction otherwise the progress that has been made will be for nothing.
"I'm ambitious and would like to win trophies with Glasgow but - even though it will be a tough task - the players need to step up and prove to themselves that they are capable of doing just that. Right now, we are some way off that."