"CONCERNED" director of rugby Nick Kennedy admits London Irish face a “big hill” to overcome if they are to avoid relegation from the Aviva Premiership.

The Exiles are 10 points adrift at the foot of the table at the halfway point in the season after going down 23-8 to rivals Worcester Warriors on Friday.

Kennedy insisted his team would continue to fight but was unhappy they had left themselves with so much to do after a “very disappointing” display at Sixways.

“Our performance was very poor,” Kennedy said.

“We have given ourselves some work to do now.

“While we are 12th I am concerned as it is not where we want to be.

“It was a massive game for us and that’s why I am so disappointed we did not put our game on the park. We just played poorly.

“I would not have minded losing if we had come out and thrown some shots and played our game, but we didn’t.

“We made too many errors and it’s opened up a gap in the league which we really did not want.

“It is a big hill, but it’s not a mountain for me.

“There is still a lot of rugby to be played.

“I am disappointed with where we are and we know we need to get better very quickly.

“We are lucky that it’s the halfway point and not with two games to go, but we have got a lot to work to do.

“I spoke to the players afterwards and said ‘You have got two choices now. You can either wake up and feel sorry for yourselves or you wake up and do everything in your power to win the next game.

“I know we have got a squad of fighters.

“But we made too many errors, so we will review that and make sure we do everything we can to make sure it does not happen again.”

Kennedy admitted his team were also not helped by injuries to skipper Fergus Mulchrone and World Cup-winning prop Ben Franks on the morning of the game.

“I don’t want to make excuses,” Kennedy added.

“To have your captain and your All Black pull out in the captain’s run would disrupt any team.

“But in saying that the guys that came in are good enough to do a job.

“I am not going to say that’s the reason for the loss but losing any starters before the game is going to hurt any team.”