DEAN Ryan fears for his Worcester Warriors when they take on Leicester Tigers in the heat of Aviva Premiership battle on Friday night.
Following a month of Amlin Challenge Cup and LV=Cup action, Warriors return to the business of top-flight survival at Sixways.
With 12 defeats from 12 league games, and 11 points from safety, Ryan was hoping his team would enter the Tigers clash battle-hardened by last Saturday’s LV=Cup clash against Exeter Chiefs.
Instead, the hosts were crushed 42-3 by the Devonians and now have to find a response ahead of the daunting task of Leicester’s visit.
Director of rugby Ryan said: “We understand the game (Exeter) didn’t have anything on it but we prepared with this game (Leicester) in mind to give us a springboard into facing probably the biggest challenge of most people’s careers.
“Nobody is under any illusions that Saturday’s game was not a representation of the club. People talk about caring for this club and wanting to be part of it going forward and then they represent themselves like that.
“Representation is about emotion in collision and ball carrying. If people can’t show those actions in that sort of environment that just makes decisions easier going forward because that was a disappointing day for everybody involved in the club.
“We’ve got to see what that looks like in a Premiership game and if it looks like Saturday I’m pretty sure of the outcome.
“People can comment all they like but if we represent ourselves like that we’re in trouble against Leicester.
“Is that a blip? Does it take us back? I don’t know until Friday but nobody’s under any illusions of what the expectations are.”
Ryan continued: “We either change that representation or it makes decisions going forward a lot easier.
“We know the challenge going forward, we know that we’re fighting for our lives and I’m really disappointed that Saturday was the first chapter going into the biggest challenge that any of these guys have faced.
“We’ve got a short turnaround now and we’ve got to move on but nobody is leaving this changing room without clear view from me.”