RETAINING Worcester Warriors’ Aviva Premiership status is Alan Solomons’ main focus as he begins his tenure as director of rugby.

Solomons will take charge of Warriors in his new position for the first time when they visit second-placed Saracens today (3pm).

Worcester have long harboured ambitions to establish themselves as a top-six Premiership club.

But Solomons insisted he was looking no further than steering his side to safety as they hover one place above the relegation zone.

“You constantly want to improve but the first thing we have got to do is focus on the job in hand which is to make sure we stay in the Premiership,” Solomons said.

“That’s absolutely vital and then we have got to progress. Every side that plays in the Premiership aspires to be in the top six because then you play in the European Champions Cup.

“The Premiership is the top domestic competition in world rugby at the moment.

“You don’t have an easy week as you have got the Anglo-Welsh Cup, A League and European games as well. It’s quite attritional.

“I have just started here so I have got to take time to assess everything and determine the way forward for us but obviously we want to be in the Premiership and doing well in it.”

Solomons said he was pleased with how Warriors handled the pressure of what he described as a “massive occasion” when the Sixways side beat London Irish 23-8 last week.

Worcester have opened up a 10-point gap between themselves and their relegation rivals at the halfway point in the season.

But Solomons admitted his side faced a big step up in class when they tackle a star-studded Saracens side at Allianz Park.

“Saracens are a very good team and have achieved some wonderful things over the past few years,” he said.

“I know they have had the odd difficulty this season.

“But they did really well against Leicester at Welford Road last weekend and certainly appear to be back on track.

“It will be a tremendous challenge for the players to test themselves against one of the top sides in the Premiership.

“Both individually and collectively, it’s fantastic and everybody is looking forward to it.”

Solomons, who has been working at the club since mid-October, also does not reckon Gary Gold’s departure and his appointment would have disrupted his players’ preparations.

“It was all done smoothly and effectively,” Solomons added.

“(The players were told) after the Irish game because we wanted to keep our focus on the match.

“What you have seen in probably the last five games is the way we are looking to play going forward.

“We have got a reasonable pack of forwards and some really good backs so we need to play to our strengths.”