Kai Horstmann expects relegation rivals Leeds to put the pressure back on to the Worcester Warriors tomorrow when they play their game in hand against struggling Newcastle.
The Worcester back row was part of the side that missed the chance to end their own drop fears by beating the bottom club at Sixways last Sunday.
That game finished in a 10-10 draw and while Worcester still have what should be a sufficient 14-point cushion, Horstmann knows Stuart Lancaster’s men will not go without a fight.
Indeed the No 8 believes Leeds will eat into that gap and could win for just the second time this season when they run out in the Good Friday clash with a Falcons side that lost its director of rugby John Fletcher.
Indeed, Horstmann recognises in Leeds the sort of togetherness that brought his own team back from the brink when they looked down and out last term.
“We are 14 points clear but mathematically they are still in with a big shout,” Horstmann maintained.
“We were dead and buried last season – a lot of people had hung us out to dry and we managed to turn things around. So we’re not taking anything for granted.
“They are a side capable of turning it around. They have a huge amount of team spirit and they work extremely hard – like us last season. That counts for a lot.
“They can catch sides out of nothing, they are threatening when they are going forward with big runners and skilful runners out wide.
“I would expect them to win again this season, there is no doubt they will pick up a victory at their place, I’m sure of it.”
But while Horstmann remains optimistic about Worcester’s development – victories against Leicester and Sale preceded last weekend’s disappointment, he admits the draw did neither side any favours.
“We need to win maybe one or two more,” he said. “We are trying to stop looking down the table and get into the mentality of ‘Who can we catch now?’.
“In the last few weeks we have proved we can take on any side. Our defence is good and in the right conditions we have a backline that can score tries on any side.
“The last game was a massive missed opportunity, the atmosphere in the changing room afterwards was as tough we’d lost.
“We felt we created enough chances but couldn’t finish things. Perhaps we should have gone with our backs more because when we did give them the ball they did get well.
“The conditions were really tough so the main emphasis was trying to keep the ball and build pressure. We thought we’d get a penalty and knock it over or push over the line for one. It just didn’t materialise.”