Dean Ryan must have forgotten to bring his tub because there was precious little thumping going on at Sixways on Tuesday as the new Warrior king met his subjects.
Quite the opposite in fact. His predecessor Richard Hill ascended to the Sixways throne with talk of emulating his Bristol team which went right through the Championship, up the Premiership and into the Heineken Cup.
Before him Mike Ruddock’s investiture had even grander reference points as the man who succeeded John Brain alluded to his transformation of Wales from no-hopers into Grand Slam champions.
But Ryan, who comes across as a man given to flights of fancy once every third century, was considerably more measured. So measured in fact you exited a ceremony more funereal than coronation.
“Let’s not be naive,” the former Gloucester and Scotland coach warned. “I can give you the answer which will make the headlines now but it’s not realistic, it will be a tough season next year and I think everyone needs to understand that.”
Not a thumped tub in sight.
“When everyone starts understanding that and we get the processes in place, I think people will understand how hard they have to fight to be in the Premiership and to be competitive in the Premiership – then we can start to build.
“Yes I will try to make it better, yes I think we can move things around in terms of coaching. But we have got to stop this illusion that coaches have got magic wands, because they haven’t.
“This will be a hard season with people having to work way beyond where they have been having to work before.”
Not a Heineken Cup-reaching, glass ceiling-busting statement in earshot. Thank-goodness.
The irony is that by coming across with such plausibility, such hard-nosed realism, Ryan might just be the man to take Worcester there. But that is only the apex of the pyramid, the 46-year-old seems every bit as concerned with its base as the summit because without the former, he has already identified, you’ll never have the latter.
Ryan has been brought in to produce winning rugby but you can’t build a house without bricks and it sounds as if more of his time will be spent gathering masonry, than contructing game-plans.
And that means establishing a supply line of young and gifted raw materials. Having fortified his Gloucester team with outstanding homegrown products like Ryan Lamb and Anthony Allen, the ex-England No.8 is alarmed that no such talent pool exists at Worcester.
Not since Matt Kvesic broke into the first team in 2010 has anyone come from within the bowels of Sixways to claim a first team shirt with any real conviction.
Their A League side is basically a scratch team made up of expendible players from local clubs. Whoever made the decision to go down that route has much explaining to do.
“We have got to make the coaching a place of excellence so that when we are asked to go to those youngsters we are able to accelerate them through,” Ryan said.
“I am not pretending these things are things that have not been said before but they are a priority now and I think for the first time I am certainly not going to be looking at problem solving over the short-term.”
Indeed there doesn’t seem much scope for many, if any, immediate sticking plasters in terms of new recruits.
“It’s probably a little bit too late but it won’t stop us trying to look. There are some elements to add to the squad just to ensure we are able to be competitive.
“It’s not possible to make big changes, everybody needs to get their head around that. It’s May now and all the signings have been done.
“The transfer window’s in January, the only transfer market that is open is the southern hemisphere and I think everybody will be aware there have been mistakes made in terms of how this place has handled that.
“I am going to try to avoid doing that and by doing that we may have to batten down the hatches with some of the people we have got.
“There is no major signing. The majority of the squad is fixed and will be here next year. And we will have to fight hard with that squad because in a three to five-year plan, it doesn’t fit just to keep chopping and changing.
“If people that are available aren’t the type of people that we want we won’t be doing anything.”
And the people he does have might just be in for the shock of their professional lives.
Much as he isn’t given to flights of fancy, Ryan doesn’t come across as a man to indulge any peacocks.
“I am pretty demanding about what I think your obligation as a player is to a club that pays you and looks after you well. I have never shied away from that.
“If people are sometimes shocked by that then they have been getting away for a long time on a relationship and contract where they haven’t been fulfilling it. This place needs people that are prepared to fight to be competitive in the Premiership. And I will promote and reward those people that are prepared to do that.”
But what he won’t do is thump tubs marked ‘Heineken Cup’ or ‘Top Six’.