Edinburgh belief vital for Paterson

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The Independent Online

The Edinburgh stand-off Chris Paterson believes victory in Toulouse today would give his team-mates the confidence to go on and lift the Heineken Cup.

They have already made history by becoming the first Scottish side to qualify for the quarter-final stage of the competition but if they can avoid defeat in France they would be assured of a home draw in the last eight and semi-finals. But Paterson feels that maintaining their 100 per cent record would convince Frank Hadden's men that this could be their year.

"It's a huge competition because it's so difficult to qualify for the quarter-finals," he said. "But we are the first Scottish side to do that and a win in Toulouse would give us the belief we could go all the way.

"So much rides on every game and then you're down to the quarter-finals and semi-finals. The home draw is vital and massively important, probably more important than anything at the moment. But if you get a home draw then it's knock-out and who knows? Conditions could be bad and anything can happen, and then you are into the last four and last two.

"That would be massive for this club to get to the latter stages and we have the confidence to go all the way."

But Paterson still fears that the French side is ready to click into gear. The versatile Scotland international still rates them as the best side he had seen or played against last season.

He added: "They're the champions but they haven't yet clicked or played to their potential. We know how dangerous they can be and how good they are having played them last year. They were the best club side I've ever played against or seen in the away leg over there. We have prepared for that and hopefully we can compete better this year than we did last year."

Edinburgh are so far unbeaten in the competition, which comes as no shock to the 25-year-old. He said: "I'm probably not surprised how well we've done because I've noticed how hard we work as a squad and how good a platform was set when the international guys came back from the World Cup.

"That level's been maintained and hopefully improved. Everybody's working so hard and there's great competition for places. That sounds so old-fashioned but that's what really helps us along."

It is still a daunting task to win in Toulouse but it is one that the Scots are relishing.

"It's been great so far," he said. "The European Cup's always a busy, busy time for us. This year we will still be competing heavily until the end of the championship. It's such a bonus to be competing against these top sides and we are certainly going out with victory in our minds."

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