WARRIORS boss Dean Ryan bemoaned his slow-starting Worcester players for throwing away the chance to pick up a vital Aviva Premiership victory against Sale Sharks.

The Sixways director of rugby is desperate for his side to open their account before the crucial trip to Newcastle on Sunday, March 30 in a bid to stage a dramatic relegation escape.

However, Warriors’ hopes of beating Sale went up in smoke after a sluggish start to the game when they were ‘paralysed’ according to Ryan.

He said: “We did everything we could to get in the right place for the game, so I’m struggling to understand how we gave them an 11-point start so early on.

“We looked paralysed for the first 20 minutes and it was the same start we made against Newcastle and London Irish.

“After two big, emotional, physical performances (against Leicester and Northampton), we lapsed again and gave ourselves a mountain to climb.

“We got two tries on the board at the end, but they were not influencing the result.

“We have tried everything – there isn’t something we are missing – and we are writing the end of the season pretty easily for everyone if we can’t solve these issues.

“We struggle to be competitive unless we are on an emotional high and if we can’t sustain that, then I am left with little other options and there aren’t many places we can turn to find the answer.

“We haven’t got long left – the clock is ticking – and we’ve always said we need to get something else before Newcastle to swing the pressure.”

Ryan added: “We can put in incredible performances against some opposition when we’re not expected to, but that is different to a belief we can win games.

“There is a connection between that and the paralysis we have in games we feel we could get something from.

“I can talk about how I would react and what we’ve done on the outside, but what I can’t talk about is what is wrapping those players up, because the first 10 minutes looked like an unopposed round.

“I can’t answer if my players still have the confidence to escape relegation. I can answer how I’d respond and how people talk, but that can be very different.

“It’s about response and when you find yourself in a situation like this, how you behave is the only illustration of what you actually believe."