DIRECTOR of rugby Lyn Jones believes Newport Gwent Dragons' spirited Judgement Day performance against the Ospreys shows that the Rodney Parade rebuilding job is working.
Not much has changed for the Dragons this season in terms of their placing in the RaboDirect Pro12; they sit 10th and are destined to finish as the bottom Welsh region.
But plenty is changing off the field; Jones has already signed seven players for 2014/15 and a raft of squad members are entering the final few weeks of their time at Rodney Parade.
The rebuilding job has no doubt played a part in form slipping since the turn of the year – they have taken just 7 points from a possible 45 – but Jones believes better times are around the corner.
"I was absolutely delighted with the attitude and the effort that the players put in against the Ospreys," said the director of rugby, who took over the reins last June.
"I thought that Lewis Evans was outstanding as a captain and as a player – we need more like him doing the Dragons shirt proud.
"We are slowly but surely getting the right people in the room and it's only when we get everyone singing from the same sheet that we will succeed.
"I said in the build-up to the Ospreys game that we are probably seven years behind the Ospreys and the challenge is to close that gap as quickly as we can. Sunday was an indication that we are doing it the right way."
Nonetheless it was another pointless encounter for the Dragons and finishing above the in-form Cardiff Blues, who are six clear thanks to a hat-trick of wins, is now highly unlikely.
Jones said: "We are bottom of the log, there's only one way for us to go and that's up. There's no shortcut to where we want to go, it'll just take bloodymindedness to stick at it and keep building.
"There are things in place for next season but now we have the challenge to beat the Scarlets and beat Treviso."
One victory could well be enough for the Dragons to leapfrog Edinburgh and Connacht into eighth in the table.
The side from the Scottish capital, who are four points ahead, have a tricky run-in against three title hopefuls – Glasgow, Munster and Leinster.
The Galway-based province, who are three points ahead, host Cardiff Blues and end against the Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium.