London Welsh skipper Tom May insists his side are up for an Aviva Premiership Rugby scrap despite a winless start to the season.
But Rowland Phillips, who spent two seasons with Welsh as a player, was appointed as new defensive coach earlier this week to try and plug the defence that has leaked six tries a game on average in Aviva Premiership Rugby.
And May admitted the numbers must improve in terms of points conceded before the Exiles can think about turning things around.
“We're turning over the ball in the wrong areas and we are too soft to score against basically,” said the 35-year-old Premiership veteran.
“But when you're on the back-foot for extended periods of time in games and that happens the wheels can come off.
“It's just little things we are doing wrong, but little things at this level get exposed badly because all the teams you come up against are strong. It's as simple as that.
“Maybe there are things we were able to get away with last year that we aren't this year. But we're not even in November yet and there's still a lot of rugby to go.
“Yes we might be favourites to go down, but that's a challenge to us. That's fine, but we're going to do something about it.
“The games in Europe and the LV= Cup we gave some opportunities to some of the lads who haven't played as much, and some of the other guys have had a rest.
“So the Premiership break had been a really good opportunity to assess where we're at, and come back for the Wasps game further forward than we were when we finished up.”
The Exiles take on Gloucester Rugby in the LV=Cup on Sunday before returning to Aviva Premiership Rugby action away at the inconsistent Wasps the following week.
May admitted it had been a tough return to life in the Aviva Premiership for the Oxford outfit so far, but is adamant his players are upbeat and have the attitude needed to move forward.
He said: “People would expect for us to have a disjointed group, but the lads come in every week after some tough results looking to get better and keep working hard.
“You expect people to come in having conceded 50-points with heads down, no smiles and no enthusiasm to get back out training, but it's the complete opposite of that.
“And to be honest that's all we can do. We know that we've performed in patches and had some good spells of play but we don't do that for long enough basically.
“We're tending to get to 60 minutes and then there's been an explosion. But it was always going to be tough for us we've just got to be willing to keep going and keep working hard.”
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