London Welsh captain Jonathan Mills insists he will not be pushing the panic button even if bottom club Sale Sharks come away from the Kassam Stadium with victory this weekend.
After a decent start to life in the Aviva Premiership with two wins in their opening four matches – including victory at Sale – Welsh have found life at English rugby’s top table tough, registering just two more wins in their next ten outings.
That poor run has left Mills and co. in tenth place just six points clear of Sale, who have been in good form of late reaching the LV= Cup semi final following back-to-back wins before returning to the Premiership to claim a priceless 21-16 win over Exeter Chiefs.
And while Mills knows Sunday’s game could be crucial in the battle to avoid the drop, he is adamant London Welsh’s fate is in their own hands as we enter the business end of the season.
“I think the media will build this game up, but there are eight games left from now until the end of the season,” he said.
“After this game at the weekend relegation won't be decided, obviously it would be great to get a win but at the same time if the result goes the other way then we've got another seven games after it to get results we need to stay up.
“We've got to make sure we keep building up a points difference so we don't get caught, and that is purely down to us.
“The boys are really excited about this weekend, talking is great and the training is great but we are all here to play rugby and we are all looking forward to giving a really good account of ourselves.”
Sale’s victory over Exeter last time out was only their third league win of a disappointing campaign to date and ensured they remained in touch with fellow strugglers London Irish and London Welsh.
The gap between Sale and Irish is currently five points and winger Mark Cueto is fully aware how important it is to keep London Welsh in the relegation shake up.
“This weekend is important – not only because it’s another game and another four points to pick up, but because of the fact it’s London Welsh, and at the minute, they’re just outside of the battle,” he said.
“If we can go down there this weekend and drag them into it, whether London Irish win or not, if we can get the win, then suddenly there’s three teams in the bottom mix.
“The more pressure we can put on other teams, the better and we just keep going on about our business.”
(Kassam Stadium, 3pm)
Referee: JP Doyle (55th Premiership game)
Assistant Referees: Nigel Carrick, Paul Dix.