Bristol Bears director of rugby Pat Lam is looking for a positive reaction from his side on Saturday as they seek to continue their fine start to this season’s EPCR Challenge Cup, against Zebre Parma in Italy.

The Gallagher Premiership club suffered their first defeat since November last weekend, when they lost 23-7 at Heineken Champions Cup team London Irish to end a four-game unbeaten run.

But now they return to a competition where they have a 100 per cent record this campaign, following victories at USAP (19-5) and at home to Zebre (35-19), to lie third in Pool A and well placed for qualification for the knockout stages of a tournament they won in 2020.

“It was our first loss since November and I think we’ve done a lot of good stuff,” Lam said. “There’s still character in that defence you can see, but we’ve got to recognise that and to scrub ourselves off.

“It’s the mental side this week. It’s a short turnaround. We travel early in the morning on Friday and we’re going back into a competition where we’re doing well and we need, on the back of it, to show a response, so we can get into a strong position in the competition.”