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Penney: Bad result can inspire Reds

AFTER an embarrassing reverse to the Cardiff Blues on Saturday evening Munster boss Rob Penney knows he must pull out all the stops to revive the Red Army ahead of a crucial Heineken Cup weekend.

Munster's 17-6 defeat at Musgrave Park was hugely demoralising but Penney is expecting a reaction when they travel to Murrayfield this weekend to take on Edinburgh.

"A bad result can inspire you and, while it can also be a hindrance, I think this group will prepare well next week and do everything they need to do to get themselves in the right spot to play well," he said.

"When you lose it certainly makes you have a laser-point focus to the week and it is exciting to think about the opportunities that are before us.

"We have just got to try and maximise our ability to get the playing group into a good frame of mind and come up with the right tactics and hopefully implement them efficiently," he said.

Munster need to improve in a host of areas - not least their concentration, according to the coach.

"I think maybe guys were daydreaming as they ran down the touchline. It is something that we are conscious of and we are just not efficient at it yet," said Penney.

"But the boys are hurting so they will respond in the appropriate way, so that's all you can ask of them," he added.

Chasing what will probably have to be a bonus-point win in Edinburgh, Penney will be seriously concerned by Munster's failure to make possession count on Saturday.

"We got something like 29 first-phase gain lines, they hit two. Statistics like that prove we did get on the front foot and we got some momentum up at times, but then we'd run into touch.

"We had ample possession but we just made so many errors. We made a defensive error after half-time which was really unacceptable, and then the last one was a bit of a mix-up. The ball hit the ref and he let it play on which is highly unusual, and they scored on the back of that."

If things weren't bad enough, Munster have a number of injury concerns going into this weekend's must-win clash in the Scottish capital.

Stephen Archer, Mike Sherry and Conor Murray all suffered blows on Saturday. Archer and Murray should be fit but Sherry is awaiting the results of a scan on his injured ankle.

If Munster are struggling, Connacht are in rude health following their 30-11 victory over the Dragons at the Sportsgrounds on Saturday with outgoing boss Eric Elwood hoping they can carry on their form when they travel to London on Saturday to face Harlequins.

"It sends us going over to 'Quins with confidence next weekend. We will go over there trying to play the same sort of rugby. But we are under no illusions. They are the English champions, it is a huge challenge. It is the Heineken Cup, but I know the lads are looking forward to it and will relish it," Elwood said.