Kingsley Jones admits he will be a nervous spectator for the key relegation clash between Leeds and Worcester on Sunday after Sale Sharks missed the chance to secure their Guinness Premiership survival with defeat to Newcastle Falcons.
Friday's 32-30 loss at Edgeley Park saw the Sharks pick up a losing bonus point which may be enough but puts their destiny out of their control. The result means Sale's run-in will not be plain sailing with director of rugby Jones admitting Sunday's game at Headingley will be massive.
"Unfortunately, it will be [uncomfortable viewing] but ultimately it is not the end of the season," he said. "We've got another game against Harlequins and that's a massive challenge, of course."
He added: "The players are really down in the changing rooms, but we've got to lift ourselves up and come back into work next week and prepare for a massive game now at Harlequins.
"Yes, it will be a lot more important if results don't go our way between Leeds and Worcester, but ultimately we want to finish well.
"I thought we finished the last 40 minutes reasonably, but we were not good enough in the first 40.
"We need to continue from where we played the most of the second half down at Quins."
Sale will be hoping Leeds can repeat the heroics of their 23-12 victory at fourth-place London Irish against Worcester, although Jones fears the exertion of last weekend could have a negative effect on their performance.
"I think it is very tough to call on Sunday at Leeds, and I just wonder if the euphoria of a victory at Irish will actually allow Worcester the win," he said.
"Psychology in this game, or any sport, is massive. Maybe it will spur Leeds on to be more confident, who knows? We'll find out on Sunday."