WORCESTER Warriors may have lost three of their past four games heading into new Gallagher Premiership season.

But captain Gerrit-Jan van Velze insists Warriors are “not 100 miles away from where we need to be” and is “very excited about what is to come”.

After beating Leicester Tigers on the opening day, Worcester have suffered defeats to Bath, Exeter Chiefs and Wasps to crash out of the Premiership Cup, finishing bottom of Pool Three.

Van Velze acknowledged that it might be “extremely difficult” for fans to have a positive outlook after watching their side leak five tries in a 39-6 loss at the Ricoh Arena.

But he felt the cup competition served its purpose in getting players fit for the Premiership which kicks off next weekend with Warriors hosting Leicester on Saturday (3pm). “We have now had four warm-up games and every person in our squad has had an opportunity to play more or less two games,” van Velze said.

“That puts us in good stead for next week when we know it starts.

“I am happy that we came through (the Wasps match) with no big injuries and am happy with the past four weeks.”

Due to the Rugby World Cup, the league campaign is starting six weeks later than usual and has been proceeded by four Premiership Cup matches.

“In the past we have had three (friendly) games where there has not been a lot of people (watching) and there has not been a lot of coverage so you get opportunities to try things and you don’t get slated for it,” van Velze said.

“This year is a bit different as we have had four games and everybody needs an opportunity to get back into it as we had a long pre-season away from the game.

“For us it is about starting the Premiership which is where our main focus will be for this next block and take it from there.”

Van Velze also felt the heavy loss at Wasps was “definitely not a true reflection” of their efforts although conceded his side were “a little sluggish” in the second half.

“We are not 100 miles away from where we need to,” van Velze said.

“It is extremely difficult to sit in the stands and see that after a performance like today.

“If you are not 100 per cent on your game and the people you play against are and take every opportunity, that’s either three, five or seven points.

“It’s difficult to stand here now and for you to believe me but just trust me on that.”

Asked whether combinations were starting to form on the pitch, van Velze added: “Yes.

“That’s difficult to say after today.

“In training it has been better. I am very excited about what is to come.”

Warriors will now prepare to face a side they have beaten four times in the past 12 months.

“We have had good results against Leicester in the past few years," van Velze said.

“The Premiership is special and it will be special to be back at home.

“Leicester are a team that will bounce back from the bad performance they had last year so we are relishing that opportunity.

“It’s very evident that we need a day away from the game and then we need to hit the ground running and prepare well.”