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Page last updated at 15:29 GMT, Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Andy Hazell pinpoints Gloucester tactical weakness

Andy Hazell
Hazell made his debut in 1997 and is Gloucester's longest serving player

Gloucester flanker Andy Hazell is urging his team-mates to put a higher value on possession in contact situations after two defeats in a row.

The 32-year-old flanker has seen the side lose to La Rochelle and Leeds in recent weeks.

"Looking after the ball is number one really, if we're going on the floor we've got to keep hold of it," Hazell told BBC Radio Gloucestershire.

"You can't just put it back, you've got to keep two hands on the ball."

He continued: "If you get a kick in the head, you get a kick in the head - the ball's key really."

Defeats at home in the European Challenge Cup to La Rochelle and away to Leeds in the Premiership have made Gloucester's aim of challenging for silverware more difficult.

We've got confidence and we know we need to play well

Andy Hazell

The Cherry and Whites' European fate is out of their own hands after losing at Kingsholm for the first time in over a year and they have slipped to seventh in the Premiership, although they have two games in hand on five of the teams above them.

But Hazell insists that confidence within the team is strong enough for the team to bounce back.

"We've got to believe in the squad, we've had some good results this year but the reason we've had those results is because all of us - and there 23 in a squad - have worked really hard," he said.

"We've got confidence and we know we need to play well and if that doesn't turn up, we know what can happen."



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