Ryan Burrows admits Yorkshire Carnegie have been “bitterly disappointed” by their home form this season as they look to start putting that right against Moseley tomorrow.
Carnegie have been to the promotion play-off semi-finals the last two years but are a long way from such thoughts this term, largely due to their home form.
They have managed only a draw in five games so far this season at Headingley Carnegie, amid a sequence of just three league wins in 12 games that has left them languishing in the bottom half.
Perennial strugglers Moseley are next to arrive in Leeds with captain Burrows calling on the side to make Headingley a stronghold once more.
“The big thing for us is getting a win at home,” said Burrows, who returns to the team after a three-game suspension.
“Not winning at home so far in the league is not good enough.
“We need to put that right for the crowd and for the squad and there’s no better time than tomorrow. There’s a real desire to put this home record right.
“We have been bitterly disappointed that what we built up as a fortress in recent years at Headingley has been knocked down this year.
“Teams don’t fear coming here – we need to get back to that situation.”
Moseley are three points below Carnegie, which goes to illustrate how difficult a season Carnegie have endured.
But the Midlanders have already won at Doncaster and Rotherham this season as they chase a White Rose hat-trick.
“There’s no easy games in this league any more and Moseley will be looking at us as a target,” added back-row forward Burrows.
“We need to put a performance in and we’re under no illusions as to how tough it’s going to be.”
Despite recent results suggesting otherwise, Carnegie have shown promise since Tommy McGee succeeded Gary Mercer as head coach.
They won at Jersey in the league, before surrendering the lead in four successive defeats to high-flying Worcester, London Scottish and Bristol, twice.
“The pressure has been off us a little but in those games we still feel we’re better than the three defeats,” continued Burrows.
“I don’t think anyone expected us to go down there and win at London Scottish and Bristol twice, but we did better than a lot of people expected and credit to the lads.
“There were a lot of positives to take out of the Bristol games.
“For me personally it’s been a long four weeks sat on the sidelines.
“It’s difficult because I’m not injured, I can actively play but can’t do anything to help.”
England Under-20s international Jack Walker – who captained the side during some of Burrows’ absence – also returns to the squad having missed last week’s defeat at Bristol in the British and Irish Cup quarter-final.
Half-backs Chris Pilgrim and Harry Leonard are back in the starting line-up with new signings Sam Egerton and Louis Grimoldby named as replacements.
Union convert Sam Burgess made a forgettable representative union debut as England Saxons ground out a worthy 18-9 victory over the Ireland Wolfhounds in Cork last night.
Burgess produced several conspicuous errors in the first half before becoming a peripheral figure after the interval.
Fly-half Henry Slade and wing Christian Wade crossed and Slade kicked two penalties in a match that saw the set-piece splutter all night.