DEAN Ryan believes Worcester Warriors can end their season-long wait for an Aviva Premiership victory if they replicate the efforts shown against Northampton and Leicester.

Warriors' bid to avoid relegation sees them take on Sale Sharks at Sixways on Saturday (2pm) looking to end a run of 14 consecutive top-flight defeats this season.

Although Worcester failed to get off the mark in their last two fixtures, they picked up a losing bonus point against Tigers and stayed in touch with league leaders Saints until captain Jonathan Thomas was sent off.

Director of rugby Ryan said: "I've been pleased with the two games against Leicester and Northampton. This is an opportunity to put in another shift and if it's at the level it's been over the last two weeks, we might get something from it.

"Home games and consistency of performance are crucial to us. Do we start targeting games so that we're fresh?

"I thought the damage of going to Northampton and getting beaten badly would be too hard to recover from, but I think we're getting some unity around the group from being able to produce.

"If we can do it again, we'll cause problems for Sale because we've proven we can do it against the top sides."

This will be the fifth meeting between the teams this season following two matches in the Amlin Challenge Cup and one each in the Premiership and LV= Cup with Worcester losing all of them.

"Sale are a tough side to beat, we've played them in everything this season," Ryan added. "The first game we played against them was probably our worst, it showed how dysfunctional we were at that stage.

"We hope the energy we've had in the last few weeks comes back again and we can give them a rattle here and see what happens."