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We're ready for a full-on battle – Cox

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: November 17, 2012

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Midweek exhibitions are gone, now it's time for Gloucester to get back to business says physical flanker Matt Cox.

Tuesday night's 31-29 win over Fiji gave all who crammed into Kingsholm a memorable occasion, but the possibility of exiting the LV= Cup looms large.

Last week's Ospreys slip-up put the Cherry and Whites on the back foot in a competition which they won just two years ago.

That Liberty Stadium loss coupled with bonus-point wins for Pool One rivals Exeter Chiefs and Harlequins has forced Nigel Davies' side to play catch up against grizzly opponents London Welsh today (4.30pm).

Oxford-based Welsh will still be wrangling from September's 31-25 late turnaround against Gloucester in their own backyard when the new boys were riding high following their first Premiership wins.

Lyn Jones' small squad can afford the luxury of sticking with more or less the same match day men and will be reeling from their 42-15 defeat to the Chiefs last week.

While Gloucester make 12 changes to their ranks with most of their first team regulars returning to action, potentially disturbing cohesion the youngsters built against Ospreys and Fiji.

But Cox says the squad must banish any sentimentality from Tuesday night and start all over again against Welsh with the Kingsholm factor cranking up the necessity for victory.

"That game is done and dusted now," said Cox.

"This week we have had a quick turnaround with three games in a week but we played them, we got the job done, and we look to the next job.

"We can't go thinking about what we've just done because the other job is creeping up on us a lot faster than we would have liked so a lot of the week has been quite disrupted.

"We were disappointed at Ospreys because we didn't do ourselves justice, especially how we finished the game.

"We want to come away with something this week, especially at Kingsholm.

"It doesn't matter what type of fixture it is, we're playing at Kingsholm.

"Whoever comes up against us we're going to give it 110 per cent and they're going to get it from us.

"They know what their strengths are, which is coming at you, especially in attack.

"They're very direct and I don't think there are many players in their team who will want to throw the ball around that much.

"They're a very physical side and have a strong mentality about how they're perceived by people."

Cox retains the seven shirt he has started in against Fiji and Ospreys with Andy Hazell still suspended and Akapusi Qera returning from brief international duty last weekend.

After playing more as a six or eight so far this season, Cox has enjoyed the extended run in the openside role that the LV= Cup window has afforded him.

"Seven is more the position the coaches see me in the long term and it's more my sort of role and suits my character to play there," added Cox.

"How we play seven in defence is to try and slow as much ball down as you can and get into a lot of the contact and the tackles and the more work you do the better the game you have. A six and eight is more specific, they're more structured, more to do with the team.

"Whereas the seven pops up a lot more in the breakdown and contact zones so you're going to get a lot more involvement in the game which is what I prefer.

"It's been good playing seven, but a lot of this season I've played six and eight so I was happy at having a crack at the position. The coaches didn't want to rush me too much, they were quite happy with me playing six and eight.

"But me personally I like to have a good run out at seven and these last few weeks have been good fun."

Gloucester: Rob Cook; Shane Monahan, Mike Tindall (capt), Billy Twelvetrees, Steph Reynolds; Freddie Burns, Jimmy Cowan; Nick Wood, Huia Edmonds, Rupert Harden; Tom Savage, Will James; Akapusi Qera, Matt Cox, Ben Morgan. Replacements: Koree Britton, Dan Murphy, Dario Chistolini, Peter Buxton, Ross Moriarty, Dave Lewis, Tim Molenaar, Drew Locke.

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