DIRECTOR of rugby Gary Gold has demanded a much-improved performance from his players as Worcester Warriors head to local rivals Gloucester on Friday (7.45pm).

Warriors are pointless at the foot of the Aviva Premiership after suffering three successive defeats and conceding 100 points in the process.

Gold described Worcester’s visit to Kingsholm as a “big game” in their bid to get off the mark and urged his side to “step up to the plate”.

After losses to last season's Premiership finalists - Wasps and Exeter Chiefs – Warriors’ chief believes his side are in a “good position from a preparation point of view”.

However, he insisted it was important the Sixways side, who are averaging one try a game, to now turn pressure into points.

“It’s a big game at this stage in the season,” Gold said.

“I certainly don’t think we need to be hitting any panic buttons.

“But we do want to start seeing some improvements.

“There has been a lot of character and heart shown, but now we need to be a lot better with ball in hand.

“What better opportunity we have got to go down to Kingsholm and do that there.

“We have had two very tough tests over the last two weeks, so we should be in a good position from a preparation point of view.

“I am know what a good coach Johan (Ackermann) is, so we are going to go to Kingsholm with a huge amount of respect for them.

“But I would really like our guys to step up to the plate this weekend.”

The Cherry and Whites stunned defending champions Exeter on the opening day before losing at Harlequins and Leicester Tigers.

Gold believes Warriors, who were hammered 55-19 in their last meeting at Gloucester, will face a “huge challenge” defensively.

“We know what’s coming,” he said.

“I think they are going to play with ball in hand and ask a lot of questions of us.

“They are going to run from a lot of areas of the field and that’s going to be a huge challenge for us.

“They have got very good backs and move the ball nicely, so we are going to have to be very sharp from a defensive point of view.

“But the important thing is that we get ourselves in the right areas of the field and when we are there we look after the ball.

“(Against Exeter) we had nine attacking sets where we had the ball between the halfway line and the 22 and we converted two. That’s not good enough.

“I am really happy with the intent, but we do need to be a lot more accurate in what we do.”