Dean Richards insists the job is not yet done despite Newcastle Falcons opening up a seven-point gap at the foot of the Aviva Premiership thanks to Sunday’s 13-6 victory over London Irish.
A season-high crowd of 7,756 roared the Falcons home, Marcus Watson scoring the only try of the game as Newcastle took a major step towards preserving their top-flight status.
But Richards was keen to stress there is still work to do, the director of rugby saying: “We are seven points up with two games to go. Mathematically it’s not safe yet, we still have a job to do and we intend to do that over the next few weeks.
“We have Saracens away and Sale at home, Irish have Harlequins at home next up and we don’t expect any favours from Conor O’Shea, given his London Irish connections.
“Until it is mathematically certain we will not rest, and that is very much the mind-set. The job’s not done yet, we have spoken to the boys about that and it is down to us to nail it. There will be no let-up at all.”
Crediting the role played by the Falcons’ supporters, Richards said: “The crowd were absolutely fantastic. It was a typical North-East atmosphere, they were brilliant on the day and really turned up in their numbers.
“To be honest we didn’t play particularly well. The players know that, and they had trained particularly well during the week. Oddly, we didn’t turn it in at the weekend, but having said that we won the game, which is what it’s all about. If you can play badly and win you’re not too bad a side, and to be fair to London Irish they have been playing well for a while now. They are not an easy team to crack and their league position doesn’t bely where they are as a side.”