A coach trip to see the lakes of London Welsh was not the ideal way for Moseley to start the second half of the season but with the run for home finally getting under way with the visit of Newbury on Saturday, skipper Gareth Taylor is reasonably happy.

He said: “It has gone reasonably well although there were games against some of the top six where we should have got more out of the game but we are a better team than last year – results show that. But we are still that little bit, that 10 per cent short of beating these teams – Doncaster and Bedford for example to name a couple.

“I think things will turn around second part of the season. We did better in the second part last year and I think it will be the same this year. We are mid-table but I think we should be higher. Our performances have been good.

“We have two lots of double home games because we have played more away so that is good. We just have to make it through next week, have a good Christmas, which is important, then come out the other end of Christmas against Coventry and then we have Exeter at home on January 3, first of the new year so we want to go into that game with wins against Newbury and Coventry. Newbury at home and Coventry away are big games. We got a little bit of joy earlier in the season with two five-point wins and need to do that again and then go into Exeter flying and really give them a test, which we know we can do.”

Head coach Ian Smith points to the fact although Moseley might have lost games in the final few minutes their improvement can be seen in the fact they are still in games with minutes to go and Taylor agrees. He said: “Last year we lost games by 20-odd points but we had lost by half time or 60 minutes, this year we are playing right through to 75-80 minutes.”

Moseley had a problem in the past at the start of second halves when they seemed vulnerable. The skipper said: “That is something we talked about and addressed and we are a different team. We look stronger and our concentration levels are much higher which means we can take teams to the end of the game. It is not just fitness levels, it is a lot to do with concentration and putting the opposition where you want them.

“This difference this year is our home form is very good. The only disappointing point is we are still not getting the wins away but that will turn around.”

Moseley are being taken seriously and Taylor said: “Teams like Doncaster, London Welsh, Bedford now know we can cause an upset so they really put on their spurs because they know they could be in a game whereas last year and the year before they might not have thought that. This year results have show we can take these teams right to the final whistle.”