Whitten expects Chiefs to get better as season wears on
Exeter Chiefs back Ian Whitten admits there is plenty of room for improvement in his side's form, but he backs them to come good by the end of the Premiership season.
Chiefs have won just two of their first four top-flight games this season, leaving them five points behind Bath in fourth.
And after suffering defeats against Northampton Saints away and Leicester at home – either side of victories over London Wasps and London Irish – an equally challenging trip to Kingsholm awaits.
Gloucester have fared a little better than Chiefs so far this term with three wins. Their only loss came at Saracens on September 15.
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However, Whitten said: "Gloucester are a really tough team, but if we can play our best stuff, then we have a chance against anybody.
"We just have to make sure we hit top form. There are teams doing really well at the minute, but it is not how you start, it is how you finish.
"We want to put in a performance that shows what we can do. Gloucester will be tough but you have got to be at your best to beat anybody in the Premiership.
"Hopefully, we can be at our best this weekend."
Chiefs' 21-9 defeat to Leicester at Sandy Park last weekend showed them at their best and worst.
A torrid first half left Rob Baxter's men 15-0 down before a much-improved second half had the Tigers on the run until the latter stages.
Whiten said: "Two wins out of four is OK, but we're a little bit disappointed in ourselves for not hitting top form yet.
"There is obviously vast room for improvement. We were disappointed with our first half last week.
"We knew it was a big opportunity to beat Leicester at home and we just were not at the races in the first half. We made some silly mistakes and bad passes.
"Hopefully, this week we can change our mindset a little bit and get the right intensity at the start of the first half.
"The second half was the best we've played this year, I would say. We can take a lot of positives out of that."
Centre Whitten has been an ever-present member of the side so far this season, playing all 80 minutes in every game, but he is not taking his place for granted and still hopes to improve as the season progresses.
He said: "There is a lot of competition for places. We have a strong squad in the backs.
"I was a little bit disappointed with my performance against Northampton but after that, I've been solid and I just want to keep knocking that on and keep creating things for the boys."
Whitten expects both sides to create plenty of chances on Sunday. The sides took one win apiece last season.
Gloucester won by two points, 18-16, at Kingsholm, while Chiefs won 40-39 at Sandy Park on the last day of the season.
"They were both exciting games against Gloucester last season," said Whitten.
"The game up there was in the wet but both teams try to throw the ball around so hopefully it will be another good game.
"We want to attack the game and get through our patterns. We didn't really do that in the first half against Leicester and that was the disappointing thing.
"We want to try and keep the ball in hand and have a go at them.
"Their backs are very quick and they are playing well. There are plenty of threats all over the pitch. We will have to be on top of our game in defence. And if we can get a bit of ball in hand, we'll have a good chance."