Yorkshire Carnegie head coach Gary Mercer says the struggling club are already faced with a “must-win” block of fixtures on their return to Championship action next month.
The Headingley men have made a sub-standard start to life in union’s second tier, winning just two of their opening five games.
They sit in the bottom four of the division, not the top four where they hope to be challenging for promotion.
To compound matters, they lost to county rivals Rotherham Titans in the British and Irish Cup last Friday night.
But head coach Mercer, who only took the reins six days before the start of the season, says he will continue to blood the club’s talented youngsters in the Cup in order to keep his powder dry for the Championship.
Carnegie resume league action against Rotherham Titans on Friday, November 7, before games against Bedford and Plymouth.
Mercer said: “It’s important to win games, I understand that. But for me the most important thing with the Cup is getting an eye on the younger players. Because after that, Rotherham, Bedford and then Plymouth are must-win games.
“We have got to get results in those games, especially the Rotherham one.”