John Brain believes that Worcester Warriors are close to the form that can see them defeating teams at the top of the Guinness Premiership table.
The Sixways director of rugby watched his team denied a losing bonus point by a sparkling - if late - Iain Balshaw try against Gloucester on Friday night, but set his disappointment aside and is looking ahead.
"By and large, in life, you get what you deserve," he said of the thrilling clash. "The penalty count meant that we lost by nine points. We've got to be more clinical and more disciplined.
"One thing you can say about our players is that they came out and wanted to play. We gave them a very, very hard game, but that doesn't put points on the table."
Of the late first-half period when referee Dave Pearson sin-binned two Gloucester players for killing ball as Worcester's rolling maul piled pressure on the visitors' line, Brain was more philiosophical than the bulk of the record 10,197 crowd that a penalty try should have been awarded.
"It was a marginal decision," he said. "There was a case for it. Sometimes they're given, sometimes they aren't."
But he said there were many positives to take from the close encounter with the table-topping Gloucester side.
"At the moment, we're playing in a league with Newcastle, Quins and one or two other teams, so it's what we do from here on. The key thing now is our ability to improve from this performance. Clearly, if we can do that, we can beat teams at the top of this league, there's no doubt about it."
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