Fly-half Dan Biggar insists Northampton Saints cannot be satisfied with simply making the knock-out stages of the Champions Cup – the Wales international wants them to go all the way.
The men in Black, Green and Gold qualified for Sunday’s quarter-final from a pool that contained Leinster, Lyon and Benetton, finishing second to set up a mouth-watering quarter-final tie against Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park.
While the side has suffered a dip in form in recent weeks, winning just once since rugby’s restart to end their hopes of a top-four spot in the Gallagher Premiership, Biggar is adamant that Saints still believe they can do something special this season.
“We desperately want it because of what we had a real taste for last year when we won the Premiership Rugby Cup, giving a young group a taste of success, and when we made the top four in Premiership,” Biggar told BT Sport.
“If you keep getting enough tastes of those things you’re going to want that all the time, and for us as a group we’ve got to make sure we keep providing those and keep progressing.
“I don’t think anyone here is going to be satisfied with just getting out the group and making a quarter-final.”Dan Biggar
“We’ve got a group who are so hungry. I think we need to keep making sure we’re chasing success rather than just patting ourselves on the back for playing well now and again in the pool stages.
“Even though the day-to-day and week-to-week Premiership rugby is special, when a big European weekend comes along it’s really, really special and means a huge amount to the Club.
“It's testament to work that’s been done around the Club to be talking about us in a quarter-final.”
Saints face a serious challenge against an Exeter side who sit top of the domestic standings and have overpowered several sides both at home and abroad this season.
Biggar knows Northampton will need to be at their very best to come away from Sandy Park with a win, but revealed the side won't die wondering.
He said: “We’re very much aware that if you’re not on the money against Exeter you’re going to be in for a tough time.
“When you look at that Exeter side you have to say there’s very few weaknesses. When you play a team like that your basics have to be right on the money, and make sure your set piece is right, because if it isn’t you’re in a bit of trouble.
“They’ve got the ability to strangle teams in a way that probably only Saracens have had the answer for over the last couple of seasons.
“If their game plan or their big players aren’t firing, they’ve got the ability to grind the game out, kicks to the corners and really make life difficult for teams.
“They ask you to make so many tackles and your work rate is always going to be questioned against a team like that.
“We’re going to go down there and enjoy it. We’re not going to go down to Exeter and grind out a result. We’re going to have to play some rugby and test them out wide which is our game. We’ll see where we go from there.”
This will be Saints’ first experience of playing an important knockout match behind closed doors.
And Biggar added: “People can say what they want but it does almost feel like a training game because there’s no real atmosphere in the ground.
“For someone like myself, a huge reason why I came to this Club was to play in front of 13 or 14,000 people every Saturday.
“When I watched all the football games I was of the opinion that it doesn’t really make a huge difference without a crowd, they’ve just got to get on with it – but then when you experience it yourself you’re feeling exactly the same and it takes you a few games to get used to it.”