Worcester centre Ben Te'o has admitted that he did not expect to be in a relegation battle when he joined the Premiership club at the start of the season.
The Warriors are currently in eleventh position and face bottom-placed Bristol, who are six points behind them in the standings, at Ashton Gate on Boxing Day.
Te'o, who joined Worcester Warriors from Leinster after a glittering Rugby League career in which he represented NRL sides Wests Tigers, Brisbane Broncos and South Sydney Rabbitohs, revealed that he is surprised by Worcester's poor form this season in which they won just one of their 10 matches so far this season.
"I never envisaged being in this survival battle," Te'o told Sportsmail.
"I thought this was a club that had come up, would stay up and really kick on. That's what I thought; top eight, top four then grand finals. It's not really been what I thought it would be. It's hard to put my finger on it. Leadership from the top down? I don't know which direction the club's going. The standard of players? We probably don't have the quality. Honestly, we've got some good players but we probably need to add.
"It's not a great place to be but we've got to work hard to get out. It's for the people higher up to sort out where the club's going and what it wants to be. Right now, I don't know if it wants to be a sustainable Premiership club or a top four and finals club. I hope we start going in the right direction because no one wants to be playing Bristol with so much riding on it."
The Warriors' struggles have coincided with the exit of their director of rugby Dean Ryan who signed Te'o from Leinster.
"Dean's a smart man and he's the one who sold the club to me, but when he left it didn't bother me," added Te'o.
"I know how this business is. People come and go. If there's a real strong leader at the top, you just keep going. Dean Ryan talked about the future and Worcester gave me a great deal. But it's not like I can put my feet up and chill because I've got a great deal.
"I was brought here for a reason and I need to give back. No matter how much money you get in the bank, if you're not winning then that's a big thing."