Bath in LV= Cup will not be taken lightly, says Mitchell
Exeter Chiefs' prop Craig Mitchell has dismissed the idea that his side will struggle to raise their game for the LV= Cup this weekend.
After two high-profile Heineken Cup matches against Clermont Auvergne and Leinster in recent weeks, Chiefs return to domestic competition on Saturday.
Although an LV= Cup match against Bath at the Recreation Ground this weekend will not be quite as glamorous, Mitchell says Chiefs' approach will be just the same.
"We will not take the LV= Cup lightly," he said. "The club has said we want to go out and really put our mark on every competition we're in. We'll put out a squad that is strong and we'll go for the win.
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"We're always in the right frame of mind for any game that comes up – whether it is against Clermont or Leinster or anyone else. I can't see us going and thinking this is a nothing game, we'll go out and really impose our game on them and go for the win."
The Chiefs have failed to beat Bath in any competition, since promotion to the Aviva Premiership in 2010. Mitchell feels erasing that statistic will provide extra motivation.
The Chiefs are also on a run of five games without a win. Mitchell said: "We haven't beaten Bath, so it would be nice to go there and turn them over on their own patch.
"We're just looking forward to playing a bit of rugby and getting the win.
"We've had a couple of losses so it would be nice to get some wins again, starting with the LV= Cup and then rolling on through to the Premiership. We are seventh at the moment, so we have a lot of hard work in front of us, but I'm sure we'll do well."
Despite the disappointment of recent defeats to Clermont and Leinster, in two of the biggest games the Chiefs have ever played in, Mitchell says they will come back stronger for the experience.
He said: "It was our first year in the Heineken Cup and we wanted to go and take three wins out of six. Unfortunately that didn't happen but we approached every game to win it, we never think about going into a game to just amble along – that's not what Exeter is about.
"I think we will take a lot of positives from this season in the Heineken Cup, it is a step up. A lot of the boys have been shocked into that, I think.
"We appreciate it, we'll learn from it and we'll go away but come back better."
Although Mitchell has been called up to the Welsh squad for the Six Nations Championship, he is in contention for Chiefs this weekend as he seeks to build match fitness ahead of Wales' opener against Ireland on February 2.
He said: "It has been a tough year for me, I've had two shoulder operations and a torn bicep – that isn't taken lightly. To get the call-up for Wales, I'm thrilled to bits and I can't wait to get in the mix now.
"I would have liked to have come back earlier and had a couple of games under my belt, just to get going but I'm feeling fit after some hard work with the physios and conditioning staff here at Chiefs. They have worked me really hard and I'm in good condition."