STEVE Diamond said after the defeat to Saracens: "For the first 50 or 60 minutes we stayed in the game and if we sort our tackle awareness out we'll be highly competitive.

"We've got to stick to what we do in the week and hopefully our endeavour will show. We proved against Worcester last week we can be competitive all the way through but against a top four side like Sarries, if you are off your mettle in the last 20 minutes they will make you pay."

Regarding Sale Sharks Premiership survival, he said: "For us now it's all about staying up. The club is 152-years-old, we have been ever-presents in the Premiership since it started. We know what we've got to do, we've got to stay up and it's not about what other teams do it's about concentrating on our own stuff.We need people who care about the place. It's a crucial time for everybody and we need to dig in deep, survive and start again."

He added: "There are key games at home and key games away coming up in the next few months and it's not going to be sorted out in February or March, it's going to go right to the wire I think."