DESPITE a deeply disappointing start to the URC season on Friday night, Ali Price remains convinced that Glasgow are on the right track under new head coach Franco Smith.

The Scotland scrum-half was one of his team’s better players in the 33-11 defeat away to Benetton, coming off the bench after the break and playing his part in a brief fightback which saw Zander Fagerson score a try to add to George Horne’s two first-half penalties. On the whole, however, it was a Warriors performance which bore a disturbingly close resemblance to their dispirited displays at the end of last season.

Price agreed that his team’s showing was well short of the standard to which they aspired, but insisted that a significant improvement would soon be evident once Smith’s new ideas had taken time to bed in.

“There’s no point us feeling sorry for ourselves,” the Scotland international said after the match at Treviso’s Stadio Monigo, in which the home team scored four tries to the Warriors’ one. “We have to keep trusting in the process that Franco has brought in and keep working hard.

“What we started to show and how we built into the game is more of how we want to attack teams and how we want to play. We created space. Yes, there were mistakes and a bit of inaccuracy at times.

“We’re at the start of the journey. Franco’s been in three or four weeks and some boys have been in seven or eight weeks, some less. We’re building. That was the first test of this new coaching group and philosophy and we saw glimpses. We’re

excited about what we feel we can achieve. We’re all buying into it as players. We’ll turn up on Monday, fix what was wrong and also progress at what we’ve been working on and try to put things right at home [to Cardiff] on Friday.

“It’s a long year. I know everyone will say that, and the scoreline and result is disappointing for us, but there’s a long way to go.

“We all know the talent, the ability and the work-rate that we’ve got in that changing room. It’s about finding that, digging deep and sticking

together. We know where we want to get to, that’s the big thing. We’re not there yet but we are working hard and we’re a motivated group.

“It might take another couple of weeks, not to get a result necessarily, but to get the performance we’re after. And that will bring the results.”

Glasgow’s original plan for pre-season was to play warm-up matches against Worcester and Ulster. In the end, however, neither materialised, leaving Smith with only a hastily-

arranged match in Inverness against the Ayrshire Bulls in which to try out his ideas before the start of the league campaign. Price accepted that the lack of game time might have been part of the reason why his team looked rusty, but insisted they would not use that as an excuse.

“Give credit to Benetton. They fronted up and punished our mistakes,” he added. “It wasn’t the start we wanted. We started to show more of ourselves the longer the game went on. We showed more of what we’re about and what we’re working on.

“We would probably have liked to have had more of a go leading into this game in terms of being tested and having someone trying to stop what you’re doing. That wasn’t the case. It would be easy to use that as an excuse and we’re not about that.

“We need to be better. And we will get better. The framework is there.

“We had a tough end to last season. This isn’t the start we wanted – not at all. But the motivation is there to come back and improve from Monday. That leads us into Cardiff.”