Ian Whitten has warned Exeter Chiefs that they cannot afford any slip-ups to reach the Gallagher Premiership playoffs.
Having seen hopes of European success end with defeat to Munster at the weekend, the Devonians must now switch all their attention to domestic matters, starting with Sunday’s trip to Saracens (3 pm).
They sit in the last four playoff places with just three games remaining for Rob Baxter’s side. However, rivals Gloucester have two games in hand – one of which is likely to be decided a win after Worcester were forced to pull out of their recent fixture with squad issues caused by Covid – meaning that it’s all to play for in the final run-in.
Whitten, who has been part and parcel of helping lead the Chiefs to the last six Premiership finals, knows the pressure is on for the two-time champions.
“They are all big pressure games now,” said Whitten. “We cannot talk about what happened earlier in the season and be hard on ourselves; we have to win every game! We have to beat Sarries this weekend. We cannot afford to drop any more points. Everyone has to put their hands up, and we have to look at this as an opportunity. We should have more points, but we can still do it.
“We have the potential and the experience within the squad, so why can’t we go and achieve it? Great things can happen at this club. I still believe in the lads, and I know what we have in the dressing room and what is coming through.”