Rob Herring says he has no doubt that Ulster can win the Heineken Champions Cup this season, but concedes there is a long way to go before they can think of adding a second star to their jersey.

The 1999 winners will face five-time champions Toulouse in the last 16, following Saturday's 34-31 bonus point victory against Clermont Auvergne in Belfast.

That victory completed a clean sweep of the pool games, with their second place finish in Pool A ensuring they will have home advantage for the second leg in the Round of 16, as well as a home quarter-final should they advance.

However, it's 10 years since Ulster last won a knockout game in this competition, losing four consecutive quarter-finals since their run to the decider in 2012.

Herring, who scored two of his side's five tries in Saturday's win, says they aren't lacking in belief.

"I think this is a side that the expectation is rising," he said.

"I think previously like a couple of years ago when we just beat Clermont we were extremely happy with that where now the expectation is we should have close that game out properly and put even more points on them.

"I think as the squad gets experience and we're learning about how to deal with these knockout stages we have to take that step forward.

"There is a lot of confidence in the squad at the moment and I 100% believe we can go on and win it but we have a long way to go still, round of 16, the quarter finals there is still a lot of rugby to be played."

It's notable that their 100% winning record was achieved with an injury list that would make most coaches gulp.

Their January wins against Clermont and Northampton were achieved without Iain Henderson, Stuart McCloskey and John Cooney, while long-term absentee internationals Will Addison, Jacob Stockdale and Jordi Murphy were unavailable for the entirety of the pool stage.

Head coach Dan McFarland believes their pool stage form has shown how much depth they have developed in the last 12 months.

"I think we've had more injuries this year and it says a lot," the former Scotland assistant coach said.

"You’ve also got to look at the fact that that last 12 or 18 months when those guys have been playing a lot - I’m talking about the likes of Jams Hume and Michael Lowry, Ethan McIlroy and Rob Baloucoune - they’ve had a real chance to get big games under their belts and progress as players.

"They train really hard and they’re interested in utilising the support that’s around them, a really good staff that genuinely care about their development.

"So that’s obviously helped their progress over that period of time. Now you talk about the guys who are injured and they’re going to have to fight for their places when they come back in.

"You could see them in the changing room there after the game, you see it in their eyes; they so want to be involved, to get back in, back playing, back fit.

"The likes of Hendy (Iain Henderson) and Will Addison, Luke Marshall, Stu McCloskey, John Cooney, Jordi Murphy. There are senior players watching who want to be a part of that and they’re working really hard."