Mullan’s sights set on top six
Wasps are back in action this Friday after two weekend’s without a fixture, as they travel to Franklin's Gardens to face Northampton Saints.
Currently sixth in the Aviva Premiership table ahead of the final run-in towards the end of the season, Wasps have everything to play for as they look to earn automatic qualification for next year’s European Champions Cup.
With trips to Northampton Saints, London Welsh and London Irish, as well as games against Exeter Chiefs and Leicester Tigers at the Ricoh Arena, Matt Mullan says that he and his teammates face a ‘mixed bag’.
"It is a mixed bag, the only benefit would be that we have got the teams around us at home, but you can't think that far ahead.
"We need to make sure that we perform on Friday. It sounds like a cliché but you do have to take it one week at a time. It is so tight up there and easy to quickly lose ground - we saw that when we drew with Newcastle Falcons.
"We said all along the target is top six and anything else would be a bonus. That is definitely still what we are focused on. We’re currently sitting sixth in the table and we know that everything is in our own hands. That’s a great position to be in but the sides we have to play are not going to roll over and let us take points from them. Everyone in this league has something to play for and we will have to be near our best to finish where we want to.”
Wasps also have a European Quarter Final looming, where they face the reigning champions Toulon in their own back yard. After qualifying for the competition the hard way last season, slipping in via the play-offs, Mullan says the squad are determined to make sure they are there next season.
"Europe means a lot to us. Last season we had to fight so hard to get there and we desperately want to do that again. That Quarter Final in a week’s time is the kind of game that everyone wants to play in and we all know, if we want to do that on a more regular basis, finishing in the top six is a must.”
Wasps’ last outing made that task a little bit more difficult. The loss to Saracens saw them slip two places in the league but Mullan says that losing their home record has made them more determined to finish strongly.
"Unfortunately we didn't get the right result against Sarries - we just couldn't see the game out. That home record was something that was very important to us. We were the last team to be undefeated at home, going back to Adams Park, but unfortunately we weren't able to keep that going. We have two games at the Ricoh Arena between now and the end of the season and we have to target those two, against Exeter and Leicester, as must-wins. They are sides in and around us in the table so to win those two would be a big boost."
Before those fixtures, Wasps face the stern challenge of reigning Aviva Premiership champions Northampton Saints in their own back yard. Mullan says that the squad, now well-rested after their break, have to put in a performance on Friday night.
"We had a little bit of time off in the first week to re-charge the batteries. I used it as a rest period after picking up a bit of a knock against Saracens so I have been in and out of treatment. There were a few tired bodies after that game following a few tough games back-to-back but everyone has had that time to recover and get themselves right ahead of this last stretch.
“You couldn’t ask for much more of a test than Northampton away. They are clear at the top of the table for a reason; they have a very balanced game built on a great set piece and a physicality that is too much for a lot of sides. We know that we will have to match that on Friday if we want to give the guys out wide the kind of platform for them to score tries and, as a pack, we are focused on that.” Tickets for Wasps' home games against Exeter Chiefs and The Stinger v Leicester Tigers are on sale online here or via the Ticket Office Hotline on 0844 847 1867.