Richard Mayhew believes Newcastle Falcons have the mental fortitude required to overcome the worst Premiership run in the club’s history.
The Kingston Park side have lost their last 14 in the league since beating London Irish on October 27, but showed renewed promise in taking a losing bonus point from league leaders and European finalists Saracens last time out.
The 23-18 loss saw Mayhew marking his 50th Falcons appearance with a man-of-the-match performance, and the Kiwi insists his team can snap out of their losing streak.
“When you have lost as many games on the bounce as we have done then it does get tough.
“But all you can do is move on to the next game, prepare properly and go into it with a freshness,” said the former North Harbour forward.
“Games come by quickly in this league, so there is little point worrying about the last one when there is another challenge just around the corner.”
Three points at London Wasps on Saturday would cement top-flight rugby for next season as Newcastle enjoy an eight-point buffer between themselves and Worcester at the bottom of the table, the Warriors travelling to Saracens at the same time the Falcons are in action at Adams Park.
Confident the group has the squad has the mind-set to get over the line, Mayhew said: “Attitude is just a massive individual thing.
“You can say all the stuff to the team as a whole, but from one to 23 guys are preparing themselves individually for the game.
“They need to know their roles well for the week, train hard and just do their jobs.
“If everyone does their job then, more often than not, you are going to get a good result.
“When you get five or six guys in one game who drop off, that is when you can struggle. But hopefully guys can just get on with it now and give it a good crack.”
Unperturbed by the Falcons’ flirtation with the drop, Mayhew is among the number to have already committed to an extension of his Kingston Park deal.
Signing the paperwork before being assured of what division they will be playing in, the blind-side insisted: “I see my future here, absolutely.
“I have really enjoyed my time here, and all the structures are set in place.
“It is now just a matter of implementing what we need to do, and I see a bright future here once we get the next few games out of the way.”
The Falcons were 14-10 winners on their last visit to Wasps’ High Wycombe home in 2012, a day of bittersweeet emotions as the margin of victory was not enough for them to avoid being relegated from the Premiership.
Wasps’ 17-12 victory at Kingston Park in December means the last two fixtures between the two teams have been won by the away side, Wasps still having plenty to play for despite sitting seventh in the table.
While sixth place is already out of reach, seventh would be enough for them to secure a play-off with their French equivalent for the last remaining place in the Rugby Champions Cup, the competition which will replace the Heineken Cup from next season onwards.
The Londoners bowed out of European competition last weekend when they were defeated at home by Bath in the semi-finals of the Amlin Challenge Cup.
Meanwhile, Northumberland Under-20s are well on with their preparations for Sunday’s Twickenham excursion, when they meet Yorkshire in the final of the County Championship.
Team manager Tom Richards said: “Yorkshire have probably got the biggest selection of clubs to pick from and they’ve always done well in this competition. But we’ve always managed to give them a good game, and hopefully this will be our day.”