BATH head coach Mike Ford admits Friday's Aviva Premiership clash with second-placed Saracens (7.45pm) will be one of his side's biggest challenges of the season.
Ford conceded Bath were below their best despite claiming a bonus-point win at home to Wasps last weekend and is under no illusions as to the scale of his team's upcoming task.
He said: "“We were pleased with the result against Wasps – you can never knock a bonus point win – but we know that we’ll have to be much more on our game come kick-off on Friday.
"We played well in patches, but not at the level we know we can reach and have shown we can compete at throughout the season.'
Ford added: “Saracens are a good side. We’ve said before that they are probably three or four years ahead of us in terms of development, but they’ve found a great level of consistency in the last couple of seasons that has seen them there or thereabouts at the end of the season.
“This game on Friday will no doubt be one of our biggest challenges all season – they beat a very good Exeter side at the weekend, and will be looking to wrestle the top spot back from Northampton.
“Everyone loves a Friday night game at the Rec, it’s such a special place to play with the home crowd getting right behind you, and I’ve no doubt the team will be up for the challenge that awaits.
"We'd love to be playing in front of a packed house - it really takes the boys to another level knowing that great support is out there.”
Tickets are still available for Friday's clash at the Rec. Call 0844 448 1865 or go online at bathrugby.com/tickets.
MORE BUILD-UP TO FRIDAY'S CLASH WITH SARACENS AT WILTSHIRETIMES.CO.UK/SPORT AND IN THIS WEEK'S WILTSHIRE TIMES