Sale Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond declared his players need to perform much better if they are to avoid the Aviva Premiership drop after being thumped by Leicester Tigers.
The Sharks were routed 48-10 courtesy of a George Ford-inspired performance, and remain bottom of the league for another week.
And after witnessing the opposition run in six tries on their way to an emphatic victory, Diamond warned his team they must to better if they are to survive.
“We have to win two or three games and put in better performances than today, otherwise our position will be justified,” he said, speaking to Sky Sports.
“We have been in the Premiership since it began and we want that to continue – we will fight tooth and nail.”
The Tigers raced into a ten-point lead inside the opening quarter-hour courtesy of a Ford penalty an Adam Thompstone try, also converted by the fly-half.
Though Sale responded with a Nick MacLeod penalty, Leicester – without a win in their last two outings – Ford immediately restored the lead with another three-pointer.
The high-flying hosts twisted the knife further with a penalty try which saw Tom Brady sin-binned, before Ed Slater went over.
Ford converted both tries to take the half-time score to 27-3.
Any hope of a second-half fight-back from the Sharks was quashed seven minutes in when Ford put Matt Smith in for the fourth try of the afternoon.
The fly-half notched the conversion and was back on kicking duties again four minutes later when Smith ran in his second try in rapid succession.
Former England international Matt Tait put gloss on the result for his side, with Ford taking maintaining his perfect kicking record with his final points of the game.
Though Sharks managed a try in the dying moments through Andy Powell – converted by Danny Cipriani – it went down as a game to forget for Diamond’s men.
The loss leaves Sale three points adrift of safety, although they might receive an unexpected reprieve if London Welsh are deducted points for fielding an ineligible player.
The Exiles will hear their fate at a disciplinary hearing on Tuesday, but Diamond insists he is more focused on matters he can control.
Diamond said: “All the sides understand the severity of what is happening and due process will take care of that on Tuesday – it’s out of our hands.
“But if we play like we did today we won’t win another game.”
Sale take a break from league matters next Sunday as they entertain Saracens in the LV=Cup semi-final.
Image courtesy of Sale Sharks, via YouTube, with thanks.