Bath Rugby second row Dave Attwood has warned of the potential banana skin awaiting his side on Friday as they seek to continue their pursuit of an Aviva Premiership semi-final place against Sale Sharks.
Thanks to an impressive run that has seen them win seven of their last nine matches, and three of their last four in the Premiership, Bath are in the hunt for a top-four finish.
Only eight points separate fourth and eighth with Bath currently seventh, seven points behind Northampton Saints who occupy the last semi-final spot.
With five matches remaining, Bath will face Harlequins, Leicester Tigers and Saracens in their last three, ensuring picking up the points against strugglers Sale will be key to their ambitions of extending their season.
But Attwood is only too aware that Bath will be punished at the Salford City Stadium if they let complacency set in.
“We’re going up there in good confidence but we know that it will be a tough challenge and we know that they have been playing well recently,” said Attwood, who signed a contract extension with the West Country side this week.
“They are now doing things well that perhaps weren’t coming off for them at the start of the season and so we have to be very careful.
“It’s not easy, it’s a long away trip, an overnight stay, and there will be a long wait in the hotel room so we must maintain our focus.
“We’re aware of how important getting the win is but we definitely believe that we can get into the top four.
“We've got some games coming up against the teams above us but we see that as a positive. It's a chance to have more of a points swing if we can take points off our rivals.”
The Sharks meanwhile, return to action after losing the LV= Cup final 32-14 to Aviva Premiership Harlequins, despite an impressive performance at Sixways.
Back in domestic action, the Sharks have improved since their torrid start to the season and have won two of their last four fixtures while prior to their defeat to Quins, they defeated league leaders Saracens to book their place in the final.
And front tow Tommy Taylor believes his side can take plenty of confidence from their final outing into Friday’s clash.
“We’re at home, where we are difficult to beat, we’ve been really good there this season,” said Taylor. “We’ve just got to take the confidence from the game on Sunday, even though we lost and it wasn’t the greatest score-line we can still take confidence from it.
“The mood is great in the camp at the moment. I think the boys are looking forward to getting back into the Premiership really because they enjoy the challenge.
“The mood is really good. We all know what job we’ve got on our hands, and we’ve all got our golden targets to get to so I think we’ll all pull together to try and achieve them.”
(Salford City Stadium, 8pm)
Referee: JP Doyle ( 58th Premiership game)
Assistant Referees: Ashley Rowden & Stuart Terheege.