Injured Newcastle Falcons back Jeremy Manning says the team is refusing to use the word 'relegation' as they prepare for the three games that could save them from dropping out of the Aviva Premiership.
Manning, who has played as winger and full back for the Falcons this season, will sit out the remaining games after rupturing ligaments in his right thumb.
But the New Zealand-born former Munster player is confident his teammates can avoid relegation in his absence.
He said: "I was really looking forward to the last three games of the season and helping in the Falcons fightback.
"We are up against it, but everyone believes we can do it, and nothing is going to stop us from doing it."
The Falcons are eight points behind Wasps, and play the London club on the last day of the season in what could be a relegation decider.
If the Falcons do manage to avoid relegation, Manning puts a lot of the credit down to Gary Gold, who became Director of Rugby in January. And he's looking forward to working with Dean Richards, who will take over from Gold next season.
Manning said: "What Dean Richards brings to the table will be fantastic for the Falcons.
"His mentality is in line with where the club is looking to go, and with our owner Semore Kurdi looking to the future and bringing through younger players, we're definitely going to be pushing forwards in the next year or two."
Newcastle's next game is away to Gloucester on April 14.
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