In preparing for today's return meeting with Leicester, the biggest boost to Glasgow Cale-donians' collective confidence should come from the impact last week's win over the English champions had on those in their team who have done it before.

The excitement of team captain Andy Nicol and prop Dave Hilton spoke volumes for the extent of last Sunday's achievement at Perth.

Hilton, in particular, was seen on television pumping the air furiously as Tommy Hayes kicked the penalty that made the result safe.

Nicol,who missed the opportunity to speak about what the victory meant to his side because he was receiving urgent treatment for a knee injury after the match, said yesterday: ''We started a job last weekend, now the aim is to finish it.''

His training has been restricted by that knee problem, but only if he is in real difficulty will he withdraw late from today's line-up, enthused as Bath's European Cup-winning captain is by his new club's latest performance.

''You know, when we went into the first scrummage and the Leicester front row were penalised for standing up, it was the first time in all the games I have ever played against them that they have been penalised at a scrum,'' said the 28-year-old, whose successes over Leicester include Bath's triumph in the 1996 English Cup final.

''That is why Hilts was so animated out there,'' said Nicol.

''He was telling me the other day that the last time a Bath pack had really put Leicester under pressure was back in 1994, before I even joined the club.''

That being the case, Nicol is stressing to his men that they must not back off now, having gained the upper hand.

''The best thing about that win was that we attacked their strengths in the set scrums and in driving play, and we got the better of them,'' he pointed out.

''When you attack a team's strengths like that and come through stronger, that goes straight to their confidence.

''So we are going into this match with confidence based on performance.

''That was not a fortuitous win last week - we earned it, and we are now sure that we can play the style of game that can cause them problems.

''Make no mistake, Leicester will come out on to that pitch believing that they can win, but the big difference is that they don't know they can win, like we do.''

That conviction is borne of the enormous impact Sunday's win had on the Scottish game.

Coaches and players alike have spoken of the buzz there was around Murrayfield on Monday when the national senior and A squads got together for their first session under their new regimes.

That was just a continuation of events at Perth.

''The atmosphere was as good at McDiarmid Park as anything I have experienced in Scotland outside of an international,'' said Nicol.

''I believe that Caley Reds were getting to that stage before the decision to merge four districts into two, but that was while I was in England.

''You can always tell when supporters are really getting behind a team. I have always said that the big difference is between spectators and supporters - and we were supported.

''So it was a good decision to go to McDiarmid for that match because we also had the benefit of what was probably the best playing surface in the country that day.''

Nicol is, then, relishing the prospect of attempting to reduce the 15,000 expected to attend today to the role of spectators.

''There is nothing better than silencing the Welford Road crowd,'' he said.

''Their support comes from Leicester doing well. That is where they get their buzz from.''

The scrum half has enjoyed the experience of winning at Leicester, but he readily admits that it was an isolated occasion among four visits there with Bath, as he reinforces just what will be required to win there.

''I read what Jon Stuart had to say about playing for them last season and how they somehow managed to win matches when they had been completely outplayed, just because of the spirit they have,'' said Nicol.

''I actually don't think they have lost a competitive match at home for two years. That means that an awful lot of very good sides have gone there and failed.

''On one occasion I can remember, we went there, scored three tries to one, and still lost.''

Indeed, the spirit his side are likely to encounter is summed up by one very sobering reflection on last Sunday's match - a match in which it looked for an hour as if the visitors might become the first team in European Cup history to fail to score a point.

''When you analyse it, the fact that they came back and scored three late tries meant they won the try count 3-2.

''It is just possible in this group that might still be a better result for them than it was for us at the end of the day,'' Nicol noted.

That should, though, also ensure that his side play for 80 minutes today, regardless of the state of what looks a very hard match to predict.

It may seem negative to be thinking in terms of consolation tries, but regardless of the selection problems that have prevented Leicester manager Dean Richards from naming his side before today, one thing is for certain - an away win at Welford Road remains the sort of bet best left to the mug punter. Team:

Glasgow Caledonian Reds - G Metcalfe; J Craig, A Bulloch, J Stuart, S Longstaff; T Hayes, A Nicol captain; D Hilton, G Bulloch, G McIlwham, S Campbell, J White, G Simpson, D McFadyen, R Reid.

Replacements from - B Irving, I McInroy, F Stott, J Petrie, S Griffiths, A Watt, G Scott, G Beveridge, M Waite, C Chalmers.