As a few smouldering words from Jim Telfer could reduce even the fiercest of international forwards to gibbering wrecks, it's safe to say that Duncan Weir and his Glasgow Warriors colleagues got off lightly when the legendary coach popped into Scotstoun for a chinwag.

In a move that recalled Europe Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley's ruse of getting Sir Alex Ferguson to deliver the pre-match pep talk at Gleneagles last month, Telfer was there at the behest of Warriors coach Gregor Townsend, who reckoned his charges might benefit from the accumulated wisdom and insight of the silver-haired 74-year-old whose rugby cv remains one of the most impressive in the sport.

What Telfer was not minded to do, though, was reprise the famous 'Everest' speech from the 1997 Lions tour, that combination of spine-tingling psychology and blood-curdling language that inspired the British and Irish forwards on to unexpected victory in the first Test against the Springboks in Cape Town.

"We were really just asking him about his experience and his career," said Weir, who has been chosen ahead of Finn Russell in the starting lineup for this afternoon's European Rugby Champions Cup clash with Bath at Scotstoun.

"We have different speakers in from time to time and he was certainly one that the boys enjoyed.

"Everyone has seen that [1997] video of him and knows that he is a quality speaker. He is the most successful coach we've had in Scotland. He was on good form. We were just asking questions and he just answered them."

Yet Weir also revealed that Telfer had likened the Warriors' Guinness PRO12 games so far this season to friendlies, in comparison to the intensity and pace of European competition. Would that he had been available to deliver the same message a year ago, when Glasgow, confidence high after an unbeaten run in the PRO12, went up against Toulon in their opening match of what was still the Heineken Cup and coughed up 34 unanswered points in the first 40 minutes.

Bath, riding high in the Aviva Premiership, will be just as willing to punish any complacency today. However, Townsend pointed out that another factor had been in play at Toulon's Stade Mayol last season, namely that the home side played a game far different from the one that he and his Warriors players expected. "That was a blip," said Townsend. "I didn't see that in any of our other performances last year.

"A lot of that was down to me as a coach. We felt we had analysed Toulon so well, but they then played the opposite way. They threw the ball around, they offloaded and they were brilliant.

"We helped them a bit at times, but that is one thing that we as coaches have to improve on. With the atmosphere in the ground, maybe the players weren't taking the game to Toulon as we would have expected, but they did in the second half and we scored four tries.

"We expect our players to take the game to Bath tomorrow because that's what we do on a consistent basis. We need to do it or we will lose the game."

Bath became the talk of English rugby when they humiliated their old rivals Leicester 45-0 a few weeks ago. The west county side of the modern era have struggled to live up to the standards set by the 1980s and 1990s vintages, but with the wealth of owner Bruce Craig and the hard-headed nous of coach Mike Ford now driving them on, there is probably more optimism around the Recreation Ground now than at any time since that trophy-laden era.

As Townsend pointed out, they also have a style of play that distinguishes them from other Aviva Premiership sides. "They have an interesting balance to the team. They have a strong set piece, a very strong front five, traditional English forwards who obviously train a lot in the scrum and lineout.

"But they also have a backline that is unique in European rugby because they play a rugby league style of attack, with the influence of Mike Ford and his son [fly-half] George being brought up in a rugby league environment, and [centre] Kyle Eastmond, who also has that background.

"They attack more than other teams in the English Premiership. If the weather stays good, it should be a cracking game for the neutral and we realise we have to be as strong defending the attack as we will be defending their set piece."

Bath had something of a wake-up call when they lost 22-29 to Wasps last weekend. Yet Glasgow's alarm clock also went off as they were beaten 29-9 by Ulster at the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast. That match had a hard, almost brutal, edge, and Glasgow will be without No.8 Josh Strauss and winger Sean Lamont on account of injuries sustained in the course of it, but Townsend still said he was satisfied with what it had done for his side.

"Ulster was the best preparation for us in terms of the physical contest and what they were doing at the set piece," the coach explained. "We are going into a very tough game this weekend."

Glasgow can take some comfort from their recent record against European sides, but little from their impact on Europe as a whole. Consistency, Weir explained, is now key. "We've had great results on occasions," he said. "I believe this team can go on and compete against the best in Europe, but it's about getting that level of performance on a regular basis. We've not had that in our European campaigns so it's now about fronting up and making sure we start on a high."