FULL-BACK Chris Pennell reckons Worcester Warriors’ relegation rivals London Irish will have a “spring in their step” in their bid to beat the drop.

The Exiles have been rock bottom of the Aviva Premiership since November and were cut 16 points adrift after Warriors recorded back-to-back wins over Exeter Chiefs and Gloucester.

But Irish kept their survival hopes alive with a 22-9 victory over second-from-bottom Worcester at the Madejski Stadium last Sunday to close the gap to 12 points with six games remaining.

This Sunday sees Nick Kennedy’s side visit third-placed Wasps and Worcester tackle mid-table Leicester Tigers at Sixways (both 3pm).

And Pennell insisted his team needed to focus on producing a “hugely improved” performance against Leicester as Irish look to claw back some more points.

“As we well know having been in Irish’s position it is not over until mathematically it is over,” Pennell said.

“We looked at this block of four games as an opportunity to create a bigger gap and start clawing in the teams ahead of us.

“We have still got the chance to do that so our focus is now on Sunday's game and bouncing back.”

Irish had not won in the league since the opening day of the season and by defeating Warriors ended a run of 14 straight league games without a victory.

“Without a doubt it is going to put a spring in their step and having been in similar positions to themselves a couple of times during my career I know exactly how it feels,” Pennell continued.

“Credit to them on Sunday and I am pleased for them that they can enjoy the win because it is a horrible position to be in.

“But we need to turn the focus on ourselves.

“When we start worrying about what’s going on at other teams that’s when we are losing focus on what we should be doing.

“It’s very much a case of learning from the match on Sunday and moving on, so onwards and upwards.”

Warriors are now gearing up ahead of their clash with Tigers who they defeated 31-27 at Welford Road in November.

And Pennell is determined to bounce back with a victory before Worcester have a two-week break from competitive action.

“We have got a big opportunity to finish this block of four Premiership games on a real high,” the 30-year-old added.

“We have got the chance to be pretty happy as a squad about what we have achieved after four weeks on Premiership duty.

“But that has to involve a win on Sunday and a hugely improved performance than the one we produced last weekend.

“We will take our medicine where it is due and start looking ahead to the Leicester game but emotionally we will pick ourselves up pretty quickly.”