SALE Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond has urged his players to learn the lessons from Friday's frustrating 13-3 Premiership loss to Saracens.

In a hard-fought encounter at the AJ Bell Stadium, the visitors prevailed thanks to Liam Williams' first-half try and eight points from the boot of Ben Spencer.

Though the Sharks conjured up a number of opportunities, a combination of solid defence from the visitors and uncharacteristic errors from the hosts conspired against Sale.

"We didn't play particularly well. We coughed the ball up too often and against sides like Saracens they will strangle you if you do that and that's what happened," Diamond told the club's website.

"I'm disappointed we didn't get anything out of it but they are a good side and if we don't play well when we've got the ball you can't expect to win and we must have dropped the ball 15 or 16 times.

"We've won five out of our past six games in the league but we came across a very good side on Friday and they've shown with their defence they can close us down and we just didn't have that ability to get round it or over it or through it.

"The effort was there in bucket-loads and our defence was resilient - the one error we made early doors they scored, as good sides do.

"We knew we'd have to play well to beat them and we didn't play well enough."

The Sharks' focus now switches to tough encounters on the road over the next fortnight with Sale facing a trip to Bath on Saturday.

And with seven games of the Premiership season remaining, the Sale boss says there is still everything to play for.

"As we've proven, we're a good side and we just need to play well," Dimes added.

"We've got a few more games to come at home and we go to Bath next Saturday and then Northampton.

"We're a good defensive team and with a little bit more accuracy in attack we could have challenged Saracens but we didn't so if we can get those areas right in those remaining seven league games then we'll be pushing everybody right to the end.

"We came across a very good side in Saracens but now we'll focus on building up for Bath next week."