11:10am Friday 20th April 2012
By Alan Feldberg
WASPS players somehow have to keep their minds on the job knowing that even two wins and finishing above Newcastle might not save them from the drop.
Their defeat to Quins and Newcastle’s win over Gloucester last weekend cut the gap at the bottom to four points with two games left.
Wasps go to Bath tomorrow while Newcastle host Saracens this weekend before the two strugglers slug it out at Adams Park next weekend in what is shaping up to be a relegation shoot-out.
In normal circumstances that would be more than enough for the players to deal with.
However, these aren’t normal circumstances and Wasps go into these fixtures with the huge cloud of administration – and a potential 15-22 point penalty – looming over them.
Essentially, they could do the job on the field and get relegated because of events off it.
Director of rugby Dai Young said: “Our sole focus is getting the points we need because it would be just as bad if we let ourselves down on the pitch and got relegated and then this magical owner comes in and we have to spend a year in the Championship.
“It’s not a throw away line, but we have to control what we can control.
“The players have got all the information now. They know what’s in front of them and we’re not going to keep talking about it everyday.
“The board have said as soon as they get an update they’ll let us know.
“Of course it’s going to be in the back of people’s minds because it’s a worry, but the relegation threat is more of a concern to most of the players than the black financial situation.”
However, there must be a fear of shoulders sagging in the dressing room.
Young said: “My job is to keep an eye on it and if I think there is a player looking a bit distracted I’d sit him down and talk to him, but I can’t speak highly enough of the players.
“We’ve been on the ropes since October. It’s been non-stop with the injuries and the off-field troubles, but their attitude has been first class through it all.
“I don’t think we’ve lacked in commitment or attitude in any game.”
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