ALAN Solomons, the Edinburgh coach, has appealed to the capital city's rugby followers to come out in force to roar on his team in their crucial, winner-takes-all European Challenge Cup clash with Bordeaux.

His side had failed to take their chance to secure top spot in their pool when they lost to a late drop goal in Lyon, but back at B T Murrayfield, he expects better from his players and hopes the fans will respond.

He is pinning a lot of hope on their ability to produce a turnaround similar to the one over Christmas and New Year when they bounced back from defeat on the road to Glasgow to win the home tie and clinch the 1872 Cup. If they can do it once, they can do it again, he reasons.

"I will take a similar approach to the one I took with the Glasgow 1872 Cup games," he said. "That was also a six-day turnaround and we found an approach that worked for us and freshened us physically and mentally. We will take a similar line for this game.

"It is winner takes all next week. I think we can win, it is important. We will have a bit of time off to give the players a chance to recover. Then you are looking at adjusting the rest of the week with a view to making sure they are sharp.

"We are back at BT Murrayfield and I really hope we can get the same sort of crowd along to this game that we did to that one against Glasgow. If we can get that sort of support again, then I am sure we can go on to win."

In the end, he reckoned the match in Lyon was simply a game too far for his exhausted troops who were showing the wear and tear, both mentally and physically, of the two intense matches against Glasgow followed by the long journey to Connacht, an equally tough match there, and then the seven-hour trip to France.

"We just were not on our game," Solomons said. "I had expected some fall off after the peaks of Glasgow and Connahct, but we just fell too far. It was the cumulative factor of coming to the end of this round of nine games and in particular the end of the fornight preceding it with the big games against Glasgow followed by the travel and big match against Connacht. I believe we will freshen up both physically and mentally this week. The boys are already looking forward to the Boredaux game."

There was plenty of verve and enthusiasm in Edinburgh's opening spell, with Jack Cuthbert, the full back, putting Tim Visser in for the opening try before Greig Tonks, the fly half, spotted acres of space as Edinburgh stole the ball from a promising French attack. His long kick downfield set up a chase between Dougie Fife, the Edinburgh wing, and some Lyon forwards - there could only be one winner.

In the end, though, it did matter that Sam Hidalgo-Clyne could not manage either touchline conversion, and the momentum started to swing towards the French, though it took a sin-bin handed out to Matt Scott as the referee got fed up with repeated Edinburgh offending at the breakdown, to bring them back into the game.

The space out wide allowed Romain Loursac, the Lyon full back, to score in the corner and bring his side to within three of Edinburgh. The Scots eased further ahead as Hidalgo-Clyne added a penalty, but then a suicidal brainstorm as four players stood and watched as a high kick bounced, followed by two fumbles as players tried to rescue the blunder, handed Lyon a simple try and all of a sudden it was Edinburgh who were having to come from behind.

They managed it with Hidalgo-Clyne slotting his third penalty, but another sequence of errors handed Lyon a late attacking chance and, with a penalty coming anyway, Fabrice Estebanez, the captain and centre, was presented with a chance to go for glory and a drop goal to win the game. He took it with aplomb and this time there was no way onto the Scots as attention switched to this weekend's big clash.

Lyon: Try: Loursac (39), Fitzpatcick (53). Con: Munro. Drop goal: Estebanez (76). Pens: Munro (19), Porical (66)

Edinburgh: Tries: Visser (8), Fife (26). Pens: Hidalgo-Clyne (3, 52, 70) Scoring sequence (Lyon first): 0-3, 0-8, 3-8, 3-13, 10-13 (half time), 15-16, 18-16, 18-19, 21-19.

Lyon: R Loursac; P Bonnefond, W Seru Sukanaveita, F Estebanez (C), T Regard; L Munro ( J Porical, 63), R Januarie ( M Loree, 67); B Balan (S Mavinga, 61), D Fitzpatrick (V Colliat, 61), H Pungea ( A Roux, 41), M De Marco (F Viljoen, 72), S Christian Njewel, S Cerqueira, K Ghezal, M Matadigo ( D Tison, 61).

Edinburgh: J Cuthbert (J Te Rure, 63); D Fife, M Scott (sin bin: 32-42), P Burleigh (A Strauss, 76), T Visser; G Tonks, S Hidalgo-Clyne, A Dickinson (R Sutherland, 67), R Ford (N Cochrane, 63), W Nel (J Andress, 67), A Bresler (F Mckenzie, 61), B Toolis, M Coman (C), R Grant, D Denton (H Watson, 61).

Referee: N Hennessy (Wales)