GLASGOW Warriors attack coach Nigel Carolan has challenged his players to show that they have the mental toughness to produce a similar sort of performance away to Exeter Chiefs this coming Saturday as they did when beating the English side at home last month.

With both teams still very much in the hunt for qualification to the knock-out phase of this season’s Champions Cup, there is a lot riding on this match, and with no crowd restrictions in place in England, the atmosphere is likely to be raucous.

Carolan acknowledged that beating Chiefs in their own backyard would be a much bigger achievement than that Scotstoun win, but added that he sees no reason why Glasgow can’t achieve that goal.

“We highlighted to our guys today that we totally dominated them on the stats front last time we met,” said the Irishman, who joined the Warriors coaching team last summer. “We dominated possession, we dominated territory, metres carried, line-breaks, penalties conceded, turnovers – we won the lot.

“And that was down to how we performed, how we turned up on the night and how we really squeezed them and didn’t allow them to play. That was  the plan and it worked.

“I know it was difficult to see in foggy conditions and we didn’t have a whole lot of footage to show the lads today, but the guys have bought into how we want to play and it materialised there on the scoreboard and the stats sheets. The lads knew they were on top, and Exeter just couldn’t find a way back into it.

“Now Exeter are at home, and they will be a different animal to what we faced up here. I know they just got turned over by Harlequins in the last minute when they were down to 14 men at the weekend so they’re certainly not a team you look down your nose at and say we’re going to do it again. We have turn up with the same mindset, attitude and doggedness and try to squeeze them again this weekend.

“We know they are going to be hurting from that result last weekend. But, from our point of view, we just need to ride the momentum that we have. We're only in control of what we can do.”

Warriors endured a frustrating festive season with their back-to-back 1872 Cup matches being postponed due to a Covid outbreak in the squad, so Carolan and his fellow coaches were delighted with the team’s performance last weekend, which indicated that the lay-off has not slowed the momentum they generated in the Exeter win.

“We showed up really well against Ospreys, especially given the break and the fact there was no crowd,” he said.  “We know we were in a battle, but we were really composed and there was great energy from the lads, great physicality and that’s exactly what we had against Exeter in early December. It’s pleasing to see how we were able to pick up from where we left off.

“We need to take that attitude and that mindset to Exeter. Nothing changes from that point of view.

“We won’t have the crowd behind us. They’ll have their home support and they’ll be hurting after the last performance against us. They’re going to be a better side and we’re going to need to up our ante as well.”

Warriors suffered a 42-0 drubbing when they visited Sandy Park during the pool stage of last season’s Champions Cup – but Carolan insisted that game does not have the same significance as the more recent Scotstoun encounter.

“We are a different team now,” he reasoned. “What’s gone before has gone and is in the past now. We just talk about our last game and our next one.

“I don’t think the headspace was as strong 13 or 14 months ago. I think we’re in a much better place now.

"You look at some of the new guys we’ve brought in, like Jack Dempsey, Sione Tuipulotu, Josh McKay, and the impact they have made. 

“Also, you look at some of the guys who have been here and some of the shifts they’ve made over the past year. Guys like Sammy Johnson – he’s a different player now – while Ross Thompson wasn’t even playing on the team 13 or 14 months ago. 

“Cole Forbes, Rufus McLean, Rory Darge as well – they weren’t in the team 13 or 14 months ago, so they didn’t experience that game. 

“All they know is what’s happening right now. That’s all we can live off and that’s what we’ll continue to tap into.”