Director of rugby Dean Richards says today’s visit of Wasps will get the best out of his players as they aim to resume winning ways at Kingston Park.
The Falcons have lost just one of their last seven on home soil in all competitions, and were beaten only by a single point when they took on Wasps in Coventry last month.
Richards said: “The boys are buzzing. Every week we have been competitive apart from Gloucester away. Even down at Exeter the other week we were 17-17 before a sin-binning near the end, and we just need to nail the wins.
“There are five games to go and we are going out to win every one of them. We are starting to play some reasonable rugby, we have got over the hiccups of the start of the year and although a couple of results the past few weeks haven’t gone our way, we are doing alright.”
On today’s opponents, he said: “Wasps on paper are probably the strongest squad, and their strength in depth gives them the opportunity to put out a quality squad week in, week out.
“They are not afraid to splash the cash and make a mark, they are in form but their form but their form before this last few weeks was a little bit hit and miss. We will see what happens this weekend but we are looking forward to it.”
Taking a losing bonus point at Bath last time out, Richards says his side are getting nearer to where he wants them to be. He said: “Yeah, we are close. We just sometimes lack that bit of accuracy at the right time.
“We had a line-out five metres out in the corner at Bath and our choice of options was probably the wrong one. Having said that, you have to applaud the players for trying to score a try and going about it the way that they did. You will never take that away from them but we just need to be more clinical in the way that we go about things. We are playing good rugby. We pushed Exeter for 70 minutes, and that is more than many teams have.”
Today’s game is set to mark the final appearance of Andy Goode, with the short-term signing named on the bench for the 3pm kick-off just three months after coming out of retirement.
Richards said: “He was honest about it. He said he wasn’t as fit as he could be but that he still knew his way around the field, and could still do a job. We talked it through, how much time he would be spending here and we decided to go for it.
“The initial reason to bring him here was down to injuries elsewhere in the squad, and those injuries are now fine so I am quite comfortable with how things are going.”
Tickets for today's game are available by calling 0871 226 60 60 or from the stadium box office.