Mike Ruddock has defended his players after their poor handling ruined his chance of beginning his tenure at Sixways with a victory.

Having seen his side fumble their way to a 29-15 loss against Bath, the Worcester director of rugby admitted that his team's errors had cost them a first win at The Rec.

But he refused to criticise the culprits and instead accepted it was the job of him and his coaching staff to help the Warriors squad improve to the level where they are completely comfortable with his expansive philosophy.

"It is my responsibility as director of rugby and also Clive Griffiths as head coach," Rud-dock maintained. "If there is any blame it is not apportioned to the players.

"It is up to us to identify the skills we need to work on and the game plan that suits this team, that is our goal."

The Welshman admitted that his first outing in charge of Worcester had been a disappointing one and that he had not enjoyed the occasion.

He also identified the fact that his team were having problems adjusting to a new mindset having been coached so conservatively since they reached the Premiership in 2003.

Indeed with no new signings and just two academy products in the starting XV there was an element that old dogs were struggling with new tricks as pass after pass hit the ground.

Things were particularly bad in the first half where, in their efforts to keep the ball alive, Craig Gillies, Pat Sanderson, Kai Horstmann and Shane Drahm all knocked on in contact and squandered promising attacking positions.

That allowed Bath to build a 19-10 half time lead and all but guarantee themselves the points.

Even so Worcester had the chance to draw close soon after the restart when flanker Tom Wood, who along with full back Chris Pennell was making his senior debut, off loaded for Dale Rasmussen to go for the posts.

Unfortunately for the Samoan and his team Marcel Garvey was unable to take his relatively simple scoring pass. It was the last time the visitors came close until the outcome was confirmed.

"At half-time it was pretty simple for me - firstly, we were knocking on and turning the ball over and secondly we were missing tackles.

"It's a pretty simple game and you can't go to the icing on the cake without getting the basics right," Ruddock said.

"We've tried to retain what was good about the Worcester game - I thought overall the set-piece was excellent and we don't want to lose that - but obviously in the modern game you've got to do something with the ball and we've tried to widen our options.

"You've got to execute your skills properly so you can build up momentum and we didn't do that, which was disappointing for me and the players."

Nevertheless, Ruddock's opposite number Steve Meehan backed Warriors to complete their tactical transformation and expressed his belief the Midlanders would improve as time went on.

"We felt they would be a bit more expansive and they were to an extent," the Australian said. "It is like when I came to Bath it took a while to change the players' mindset. It doesn't come overnight.

"Mike Ruddock will be brave, he will not go away from trying to change the way they play and they'll be a bigger threat later in the season.

"They have still got a great set-piece, they've got some tall timber who can get over the top and off-load the ball and when they bring a couple of players into the backs they will be a tough prospect."

If Saturday's evidence is anything to go by, December 1, when All Black wing Rico Gear arrives, cannot come quickly enough.

A few weeks before then his compatriot Sam Tuitupou will also join Worcester and Loki Crichton could be on board by October - assuming Samoa do not progress in the World Cup.