JAMES Cannon says defeat to London Irish last weekend was a timely shock to the system for Wasps.

Wasps were riding a wave after beating the likes of Leicester, Harlequins and Gloucester.

But Sunday’s match was rugby’s version of a cold glass of water in the face.

Cannon said: “I think that was a wake up call. It’s something we’ve discussed this week and it now makes this Friday’s match that little bit more important.

“We’re heading into a two-week break but before we go away we’re looking to finish on a high note and give ourselves a platform to finish the season in the best possible way.”

Wasps were beaten 30-19 at the Madejski to slip out of the top four.

They are now fifth, level on points with fourth-placed Gloucester and one point better off than Northampton, who are the next visitors to Adams Park.

Cannon said: “All those teams know that one slip up and you’ll be out of it, like we were at the weekend.

“You can’t relax and hope other results will go your way because invariably they don’t.

“We need to pick up as many points as we can at home and keep trying to improve our away record.

“So Friday’s game is crucial for both clubs. It’s a home game for Worcester and they’ll be targeting it as much as us.

“They were unlucky to lose against Gloucester so we’re expecting a very tough match.

“There was a slip up last week, when we weren’t at the races, but we’re looking to put that right and get back on the horse and finish the season positively.”

Cannon can expect to be a huge part of that.

After recovering from a back injury he has gone from strength to strength this season, establishing himself as one of those steadfast players who make little fuss and attract less, yet perform a crucial role in the engine room of the team.

He said: “We’ve got some very good players here, Joe [Launchbury], Marco [Wentzel] and Tom [Palmer].

“It’s great to train with these guys and learn off them and you pick different things off each of them.

“This season I was just aiming to play as much as I could. We’ve got a very competitive squad but I’ve been given a chance and played quite a few games now.

“But the season isn’t over yet.”

Wasps take on Gloucester tomorrow night at 8pm.

Billy Vunipola and Christian Wade are both injured, but James Haskell and Andrea Masi are available.