Baxter demands his players remain focused for Warriors
ROB Baxter has challenged his Exeter Chiefs players to maintain their intensity for the full 80 minutes this weekend to help them preserve their unbeaten home record in the league.
With Worcester making the trip to Sandy Park on Saturday, head coach Baxter knows his side cannot afford another slow start like they had at Bath last time out.
After falling off tackles early on, the Chiefs found themselves 12-0 down at The Rec and went on to return to Devon on the back of a 23-15 defeat.
Baxter is keen to ensure there is no repeat this weekend, especially as games against Worcester have a habit of being close.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
"They're one place and one point behind us in the table. They're breathing down our necks and that makes it a very important game," said Baxter of Saturday's match.
"In addition, it's a home game for us and a game we need something from if we want to keep moving forward.
"It's a bit like last week. We swapped positions with Bath because we didn't win the game, that's the same position we're in this week against Worcester.
"If you look at our performances against them, they've always been pretty tough battles and relatively closely-fought games and games that have gone the full 80 minutes.
"We're very aware of the threats, but the challenge for us is to make it about us and get our mindset right from the off.
"We've got to make sure we're fully functioning for the full 80 minutes. That's what we've focused on this week. That's what hurt us at Bath, not where we were for 60 minutes because for 60 minutes we were good enough to win the game.
"Our focus has to be the intensity over the long haul because that's what we'll need against Worcester."
Baxter rested skipper Tom Hayes for the defeat at Bath but the lock is expected to return to the starting line-up this weekend.
That is not likely to be the only change as Baxter may take the opportunity to freshen the team up in other positions as well.
Flanker Tom Johnson is unlikely to feature as he has been away at an England training camp all week, with Aussie international Dean Mumm set to switch from the second-row to fill in at blindside and allow Hayes to return in the engine room.
Sireli Naqelevuki is available again after missing the Bath match with a knee injury but fellow centre Jason Shoemark is the latest injury doubt as he took a bang to the face last weekend.
However, prop Hoani Tui is likely to make his seasonal bow after a hamstring injury in the LV= Cup rather against Worcester.
Baxter said he was happy with the depth in his squad to make changes this weekend.
"We have got some opportunities to freshen things up in a few positions and we may take a couple of those," he said.
"We've got to see how everybody is and then we will finalise the squad.
"Tommy (Hayes) is in contention but Tom Johnson is likely to be away with England so there is likely to be a bit of shuffling around in the back five.
"We're pretty comfortable with what we can do there, Dave Ewers has been performing really well in the A League so we've got some cover."