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'We've got to be smarter' – Warren Gatland addresses Chiefs' winless run

Warren Gatland wants to let the Chiefs' actions speak louder than words, as his side seek to avoid equalling the club's longest losing run, taking on the Highlanders in Hamilton tomorrow.

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The Chiefs are one defeat away from equalling a club record six in a row. Source: 1 NEWS

Across the end of the initial Super Rugby 2020 season, and now the new Super Rugby Aotearoa season post Covid-19, the Chiefs haven't won a match since Round Six back in March.

In that time, Gatland's side have lost their last five matches, sitting bottom of the Super Rugby Aotearoa table, the only side without a win in the new competition.

What's more, the poor start to the new competition has all but ruled out any chance of the Chiefs lifting the trophy, with no finals series to be played and the winner to be decided after the round robin stage.

Addressing his side's woes, Gatland today told media that the Chiefs' poor run of results is on him, hopeful of turning things around - starting with the Highlanders.

"We've just got to be smarter, in terms of respecting the ball, limiting the number of turnovers, and then it'll come for us," Gatland said.

"But we're in professional sport, it's all about results and I understand that fully.

"I'm disappointed with where we're at, we probably should have won two or three of those games and still been in this competition.

"We've got to go out there, perform and win on Sunday."

Gatland also addressed the prospect of the Chiefs slipping towards a new record for matches without a win, but is backing his side to respond to the criticism thrown their way.

"It's one of those sort of records you don't want to get. I've been lucky enough in the past to have record wins and things with teams. You don't want to be on the other one.

"The thing is we have been training well. The guys are aware of that, they're disappointed, they're motivated, they understand the criticism.

"The thing is, when you lose, you've got to keep your mouth shut, you've got to take everything that's thrown at you.

"People are saying at the moment that we're not fronting up, we're a little bit soft. Those sort of things hurt, you get a response from that, but you can't really say too much.

"You've got to respond with actions, and that's the thing for this Sunday."