After suffering such a dispiriting defeat at Pertemps Bees last weekend, Coventry might have been forgiven-for going into tomorrow's-match against Harlequins-with a certain amount of trepidation.
Bees are not the most starstudded outfit in National One, yet by the end of their 29-7 victory their four-try second-half burst had made their opponents look a bedraggled bunch, desperately short on confidence.
Harlequins are, by some way, the most star-studded outfit in National One and with Andrew Mehrtens, Andre Vos, Tony Diprose and Will Greenwood in their ranks the prospect of Quins' visit to Butts Park Arena might send alarm bells ringing in the offices of the Anti-Blood Sports Society.
That's one theory. The other, expounded by Coventry head coach Mike Umaga, is that the mere sight of the Londoners will send renewed determination coursing through his players' veins.
"If ever there was a game when the boys could lift themselves and prove the doubters wrong, then this is that game," Umaga said yesterday.
Coventry are expecting a crowd of between 3,000-4,000 to provide Mehrtens' welcoming committee - that would be a record at their latest home - and the hope is that their presence will both inspire the hosts and distract the visitors.
Harlequins have yet to be beaten in their first season at level two. They came perilously close at Otley a few weeks ago when Mel Deane spared their blushes with an injury-time try.
Umaga takes heart from the fact that Dean Richards' men have not yet shown their undoubted class. He also fears that the time will come: "Does their record give us a chance? Yes and no, they might click on Saturday."
If that were to happen, the occasion could get messy. The men from The Twickenham Stoop, as we must now call it, played for 20 minutes when they visited Sharmans Cross Road on the opening day of the campaign.
In that short time, their back three scored five tries and provided a demonstration of clinical finishing power the like of which National One will not have seen since Worcester's freerunning heyday.
The likelihood of a repeat does not faze Umaga. "It comes down to a matter of pride," he said. "I don't think we are a side that would be beaten by 40 or 50 points. Maybe last year we were, but not this year."
That pride was seriously hurt at Sharmans Cross Road last weekend, more so by the fact that they had looked Bees' equal for the first 40 minutes but couldn't lay a hand on them in the second stanza.
"The first half was awesome," said centre Donovan Sanders. "But it was bitter for us after that, knowing we could have won it."
By the time they trudged off, Coventry looked more than downhearted. According to Umaga, confidence is low but not terminally so.
"I don't have to persuade them that they are good enough. They know what their capabilities are," he said.
The reconstructive process will not be helped by the fact that captain Hendry Rheeders is a doubt for the game after injuring his sternum against B&S.
The South African will be given as much time as possible to prove his fitness, because his recent form has been such that his absence would be seriously debilitating to the Coventry cause. If he fails to recover in time, Dan Farani will take his place at No 8.
Richard Davies is still a doubt at full-back which means Dave Harvey could get a second chance to impress after his poor debut at Bees. Mike Walls returns in place of Rob Chrystie at scrum-half and Gareth Gravell should come in for Tom Johnson on the openside.
Kurt Johnson comes back in on the wing while the rest of the side get the chance to make up for last weekend. Meanwhile, Josh Taumalolo has been allowed to leave Coventry by mutual consent.
COVENTRY from: Davies, Harvey; Johnson K, Witkowski, Sanders, Moore; Higgins, Walls; Pulu, Protherough, Bucknall, Campton, Gulliver, Venter, Gravell, Rheeders, Farani, Siviter, Treston, Gluth, Clapham, Johnson T, Geraghty, Chrystie, Richards.