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Bradley hoping his side can rise to the occasion

It could be a period in limbo as they await news of what is to come but Edinburgh's outgoing head coach believes his players will start to show tonight that the club is poised for a bright future.

Bradley says Edinburgh are one player away. Picture: PA
Bradley says Edinburgh are one player away. Picture: PA

Michael Bradley knows he will not be part of it, having been told this week that his contract will not be renewed at the end of the season and he made no attempt to hide his disappointment with that decision.

He believes the team is just one signing, a controlling fly-half, away from being able to unleash their potential and he is aiming to help ensure such a player is brought to the club before he departs.

However, they must finish the season with those available to them and they are buoyed, as Bradley's long farewell gets underway, by meeting one of only five teams they have beaten in the 24 matches they have played since last season's Heineken Cup quarter-final win over Toulouse.

"Coaches change on a regular basis, teams change on a regular basis but when they wear the jersey and go out there, they have to perform to a certain level," said Bradley.

"We have beaten Cardiff already this year and we have a good opportunity to take them again, which would be a nice double over them.

"The other three sides we have beaten, we have got them at the back end of the season, as well, so they are all targets for us."

Since Treviso, the team they defeated in the final match of last season, is yet another of the teams they have still to meet, Bradley's assessment of what faces the squad he was entitled to believe he had strengthened in all areas except that crucial playmaking role, seems well-founded.

Indeed, a cynic might suspect that the announcement of his departure has been made now because SRU chiefs want to make changes and know that will be more controversial if, as at Glasgow last season, they do so when the team is winning.

Such conjecture is no longer relevant to the Irishman, however, and he said yesterday: "I think the players are looking forward to the match, they are looking forward, hopefully, to a home win and then there are seven more matches coming our way, three of them at home.

"I believe that these guys will finish the season quite strongly."

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