RESURGENT Gloucester can be proud of ending the season as the Premiership's most-improved club, believes boss Nigel Davies.
The Cherry and Whites claimed try and losing bonus points in a thrilling, free-flowing encounter at Exeter Chiefs on Saturday, to close their league campaign.
Despite losing out 40-39 in a tense finale, the Kingsholm men kept the Chiefs in sixth spot.
The hosts secured Heineken Cup rugby for a second-successive season to the delight of their fervent fans.
Gloucester were disappointed with defeat, but delighted to finish fifth – four places higher than last term.
Amid the fallout of the Bryan Redpath era, Gloucester's fell apart as they finished ninth, only collecting 44 points.
With rugby director Davies' calm authority overhauling the Kingsholm set-up, Gloucester have racked up 60 points to finish fifth – with four more wins than last term.
Gloucester found themselves 18 points down after 18 minutes on Saturday – but rallied with three first-half tries and two after the break.
Proud Davies said that trademark resilience shone through again – and lights the way towards a successful future.
He explained: "We wanted to get that fifth spot to be honest.
"It doesn't mean much in terms of the play-offs, but it does mean a lot for us overall.
"It shows progress, and it shows that we fought for something on Saturday.
"I'm proud of the boys.
"I really felt they were in the right place, so I certainly wasn't expecting that first 20 minutes!
"But credit to Exeter for the way they played there, they were fabulous.
"But our boys didn't give up,