With the Cheetahs and Leinster leading the way in the Pro14’s Conference A with maximum points from three games Louis Ludik feels Ulster have a chance to close the four point gap on the top two as they embark on home games with Cardiff and Zebre.
The South African starts on the wing tonight against the Welsh Capital Region at Kingspan Stadium and he wants Ulster to display a more ruthless streak.
“We have to look at it and try and get 10 points in those two home and do your best away,” he said.
“Obviously we will target to win every game, but there are must win games for us, especially in the beginning of the season,
“You maybe slip a couple and you think you are okay, but at the back end it is always those bonus points, or one or two points at the end of the game you should have, or should have won that game, maybe means you do not get a home game in the semi-finals. That makes a huge difference in the end.
“Obviously both pools are tough, but if you look at it now the Cheetahs and Leinster are top now, so that makes it a very tough pool,
“For us to be able to get a home semi now, it is going to be very tough, we just have to try and win as many as possible.
“I think that is one thing about this squad, it does not matter if we are 100 points behind or ahead, one thing we want to strive for is to never let go.
“That was the disappointing aspect to the defeat against the Kings. We were ahead and then let it go a little bit.
“That is one thing that Dan wants us to do, to never let go, to keep on going no matter what the score line is, we never stop fighting.
“You could see in the Kings game even though we won the game, by the end we did not let them in for easy tries,
“We kept on fighting, we did not want to let them score even though we knew we would probably win the game, we did not want them to score at all.
“I think that is a good characteristic of the team in general.”
Cardiff arrive in Belfast fifth in Conference B after back to back defeats to Edinburgh and Glasgow.
They have not won since their victory over the Kings on the opening weekend of the season.
With former Ravenhill cult hero Nick Williams back to captain the Blues though Ludik know they pose a real threat.
“They have got absolute dangerous runners,” he said.
“That is one thing we are looking at, they have got so many dangerous players at the back.
“If we slip up a couple of times like we did against the Cheetahs, they will punish us.”
Ireland’s Will Addison has recovered from injury and makes his first start of the season at full back. Summer signings, lock Sam Carter and utility back Matt Faddes, are dropped to the bench.
Alan O’Connor comes into the second row to partner Kieran Treadwell.
Out-half Billy Burns is recalled to the starting line up and will captain Ulster for the first time in a competitive match.
There is no place in the match day 23 for Stuart McCloskey, who limped off against the Kings last time out. Marty Moore who hasn’t played this season is still absent.