Bristol forward Dan Tuohy believes their match with Sale Sharks on New Year’s Day is crucial to both sides’ seasons.
Bristol, who earned promotion last season, won for the first time against Worcester Warriors on Boxing Day, with former England winger Tom Varndell scoring a hat-trick in a 28-20 success.
They now travel to Sale, keen to build on their momentum against a Sharks side who have lost their last four in the league and sit tenth in the table, eight points clear of Worcester.
“It is a game we are looking to win but every game is winnable in this league – even Saracens away, you just need to have that mentality,” Tuohy told the Premiership website.
“Sale will be looking to get their season back on track against the bottom team but we are buoyed by our recent win and are looking to push on. We have other plans.
“I am expecting a match of desperation because they don’t want to get sucked in and we’re determined to keep our winning momentum going.”
Tuohy joined Bristol a month ago from PRO12 side Ulster, and the Irish international says he has fitted in perfectly at Ashton Gate – and is excited ahead of the second half of the campaign.
“I was born in Bristol and my family live in the area, down in Weston-super-Mare. So it is very familiar, it is not like I am moving to the other side of the country,” he added.
“It has been very easy for me and my family to settle in. Bristol have a great bunch of guys, a lot are in a similar age group and it is has been a very easy transition – I am hoping to make some great memories here.
“I only joined a few weeks ago and when I arrived I expected the guys to be a little downbeat but the performances have been good – we just were not getting the results.
“But we got those two Challenge Cup wins and that gave us the confidence which helped us beat Worcester. The boys are more upbeat.
“It does not count for much until we get on a roll and start adding to the tally. But it did have a double significance with Worcester being so close – if we did not get the points then Worcester were going to get them.
“It did give us an extra edge but when all is said and done it means little if we don’t build on it. We are on a good run and we need to back it up against Sale and then against Northampton.”