DIRECTOR of rugby Alan Solomons reckons it is only “little things” that are causing Worcester Warriors to slump at the start of games.

Warriors found themselves 21-3 down after the opening quarter of their clash with Wasps after shipping three converted tries.

But that sorry start in the 28-16 defeat last Saturday has become a worrying trend for the Gallagher Premiership strugglers.

Warriors have been trailing after the first 20 minutes in 11 of their past 12 matches and six of those ended in defeat.

Solomons was happy with how his side got out of the traps at Wasps as Duncan Weir landed an early penalty.

But he highlighted Darren Barry’s fumble from the restart as a momentum-swinging mistake which eventually led to Nathan Hughes crossing the whitewash.

“They got the momentum going and it didn’t even shift,” Solomons said.

“They did very well. It was just unfortunate we didn’t keep hold of the kick-off as the ball bounced, their wing picked it up, beat two or three players and got in behind us.

“It was difficult from there and they scored which immediately pushed the momentum with them and they were able to sustain that until the 20th minute when they scored the third of their tries.”

Solomons insisted Warriors could not afford to take their eye off the ball as they bid to come out firing against Sale Sharks at Sixways on Saturday (3pm).

“It is little things early in the game that you need to do right,” Solomons said.

“We started the game quite brightly in the opening five minutes.

“But it was critical that we just took that kick-off calm as anything, boxed it and there would be no problem.

“We didn’t and it’s those little things that we have got to make sure that we do correctly.

“It is about composure and concentration. You can’t take your eye off the ball.

“That’s what happened. For a split second the player takes his eye off the ball and that happens.”

Solomons said Warriors faced a “massive challenge” as fifth-placed Sale arrive in Worcester on the back of three victories in their past four games in all competitions.

“I have watched their last three games and they are a very physical outfit,” Solomons added.

“They will pitch up, there is little doubt about that. They have now got a real opportunity for a play-off spot so we are in for a tough game and we know that.

“We need to be ready for that game and we need to start properly.”