De Allende: No words for Stormers fans
Cape Town - The mood in the Stormers camp this week has understandably taken a knock, but players and management are putting on brave faces in an attempt to turn their season around.
With three wins from nine, the Capetonians find themselves bottom of the South African Conference.
There is obviously still a long way to go, and things can change very quickly, but as things stand the Stormers face an uphill battle if they are to qualify for the Super Rugby playoffs.
That recovery starts on Friday with a crucial clash against the Rebels at Newlands. It is a game that the Stormers simply must win to get things moving in the right direction again.
There is no doubt that this past Saturday's 24-17 loss to the Sharks in Durban was a heavy blow to take, and when Damian de Allende was asked what his message to the supporters was, his response spoke volumes.
"It's going to be tough to get a message across now with words," he said.
"I think we need to go put those words into action, and hopefully we achieve that on Friday.
"We know we always have loyal fans and we're very appreciative of that. It's been a tough few weeks for us, not just the fans but the players as well. We've been working very hard and sometimes things don't go our way.
"We've got to keep digging and hopefully it will come off. Hopefully Friday will be a good one for us and hopefully we can make the fans believe in us again."
The one positive for the Stormers in their playoff run is that five of their remaining seven fixtures this season are at Newlands, where they are undefeated in 2018 with three wins from three.
"Like the coaches say, winning is a habit and I think losing is also a habit too," said De Allende.
"At the moment I think we have that bad habit of losing away from home which is quite tough."
Kick-off on Friday is at 15:05.