Newcastle Falcons may be peering over their shoulders with London Irish bearing down on them at the foot of the Aviva Premiership Rugby table with only four rounds to go, but Alex Tait insists they have to make sure their opponents are the ones under pressure this week.
Dean Richards’ side are yet to win a game away from home this season, and travel to Harlequins on Saturday after six straight defeats.
But Tait is adamant that while the form-guide may be against them, his side are full of belief they can topple top-six hopefuls Quins after beating them earlier this season.
“A lot of teams in this league are very difficult to beat at home at the minute, but we’ve got to go down there with the belief in our systems, and if we get everything right on the day hopefully we come away with a result,” he said.
“We’re not thinking, ‘it’s an away game so we’re not going to win’. We believe that we can win away from home and we’ve got a good record against Harlequins.
“The game against them last time set us off on a good run, and we’ve already beaten them this year so we really do know we can do it.
“We’ve got the boys that can hurt them, so we know if we are fully accurate and bring our physicality against them too then we can get a victory.
“They will be a different beast however at home and we are not underestimating them at all. It will be massive for us but we have to make sure they are the ones who are put under pressure.”
Another defeat to Wasps at Kingston Park last weekend meant London Irish moved to within four points of Newcastle, with both sides bidding to avoid the bottom of the Aviva Premiership Rugby table.
And despite results not going their way in recent weeks, Tait admits he has been impressed with the positivity that remains in the squad with a crunch few games ahead of them.
He said: “We were very disappointed last week. Wasps were good for the win and got what they deserved from the game, but we were gutted not to get anything for our efforts.
“We put ourselves there or thereabouts to get a losing bonus point but it just went away from us at the end.
“They seemed to raise their game a bit from the last time we played them, and then defensively we were very passive and a bit off.
“If you let guys with their firepower run at you, they are always going to score a few tries, and in attack as well we missed a lot of opportunities.
“But we’ve got this game against Quins at the weekend which we are fully focused on, and then there’s a week’s break which we will throw everything into.
“The morale in the squad is still very high though; we’ve had a couple of sunny days this week with short, sharp training and everyone is buzzing.”
If you want to be at the world's biggest club rugby final, this year's Aviva Premiership Rugby Final on 28 May, tickets are still available from premiershiprugby.com/final