Nick Macleod believes a shock victory for Sale Sharks against French giants Toulon in the Heineken Cup could give their domestic campaign a much-needed boost.
The Sharks head to the Stade Felix Mayol behind their opponents and fellow French side Montpellier in Pool Six, but ahead of Macleod’s former side Cardiff Blues.
And the fly-half hopes a good show against the French superstars can inspire the bottom-placed Aviva Premiership side to greater things at home.
“If we can produce a performance against Toulon, then we can take that confidence into Wasps, though every game for us in the Premiership is huge,” said the 29-year-old.
“This Christmas period with Worcester and Wasps is massive for us and it’ll have a big standing on whether we can turn this season around or not.
“So it’s a really important Christmas period for us.”
The Welshman also insists Sale have put the staff upheavals of the past few months behind them and are now in a position to add to their solitary Premiership win.
“It’s important that we’ve got that focus on the top – you need that direction and you need consistency,” he said.
“Everybody is just looking for the place to settle down – the boys have been fantastic and really tried to pull together, really focus on the rugby and what’s gone on outside, just put that to one side.
“We’ve got a direction now, things are in place and we’ve got to try and take the club forward.”
Sale’s game against Toulon is their last Heineken Cup clash of the year, before Premiership fixtures against London Wasps and Worcester Warriors close out the club’s 2012.