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By Geoff Berkeley Tuesday 08 January 2013 Updated: 09/01 16:46
HEAD coach Richard Hill has admitted Worcester Warriors will struggle to clinch a place in the Aviva Premiership's top six after a punishing Christmas period.
The agonising 19-14 defeat to Leicester Tigers at Sixways on Friday night capped off a run of games, which the Warriors boss had previously said would define his side's season.
Despite securing victories over Saracens and London Welsh as well as picking up an impressive losing bonus point away to leaders Harlequins, successive defeats to Sale Sharks and Leicester have dented their hopes of a Heineken Cup spot.
Worcester now sit nine points adrift of sixth placed Gloucester, which Hill believed would be difficult to claw back with seven games remaining.
"It is going to be tough now," he said.
"Depending on the results this weekend, we might lose touch with the top six.
"Although we picked up a losing bonus point against Sale and Leicester we were looking to win both of those to catapult us into the top six.
"It is not beyond the realms of possibility, but it is a pretty tough ask now."
Meanwhile, Hill also insisted there were a lot of positives to take from the game against Leicester, including an impressive first half display which saw Warriors open up a 14-0 lead.
"I am bitterly disappointed for the club and for the players because they put so much effort in," Hill added.
"But I can look back and I think we made a step forward. Not just the effort, sometimes we have seen huge effort and not a lot of quality, but tonight, from where I was sitting, I saw a lot more quality.
"If we play like that, with passion and quality, then we are not going to lose too many more games this season."
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