WARRIORS director of rugby Gary Gold has insisted it would be ‘unbelievably disappointing’ if his side were to take their foot off the accelerator ahead of the final game of their campaign.
The 49-year-old, who will lead the club in the 2017/18 Aviva Premiership campaign after signing a one-year contract last week, stressed the club must continue improving.
Speaking after the 16-14 defeat to Newcastle Falcons on Friday night, the Worcester chief urged his players to show the same level of effort which has seen them win three of their four home games since his arrival in January.
Warriors close their Premiership campaign the visit of Leicester Tigers to Sixways on Saturday (kick-off 4pm) and Gold admitted the club’s survival had made him proud.
“Fundamentally, it was the only reason I was brought to the club. I’m unbelievably proud of this group of players and how they’ve gone about their work,” said Gold.
“They embraced the change and it’s fair to say the one goal we set ourselves, which was critically important, was that we would be the masters of our own destiny.
“Beating the likes of Saracens, Bristol and Bath, coupled with bonus points, is a testament to the guys. It wasn’t an easy challenge. It’s a dark place being at the bottom.
“There was a single point between us and Bristol when I arrived, so it’s been a privilege to work with a group of players who have shown a tremendous amount of character.
“It would be so much good work gone to waste if we were to take our foot off the accelerator now. We achieved our goal of staying up, but we still need to improve and get better as a rugby team.”
The former South African assistant coach admits his side must to step up again next season if they are to compete with the Premiership’s elite.
“At the end of the day we’re still 11th and that’s nothing to shout about. I know the guys here don’t want to be a lower table team,” he added.
“We haven’t actually achieved anything if you think about it and it’s not going to get any easier next season.
“We’ll probably be amongst the relegation favourites again, so now is the time to step up. It’s going to be a challenge, but if I didn’t think we were good enough I wouldn’t have chosen to stay on.”