JONATHAN Thomas admitted his side are potentially "trying too hard" following Worcester's narrow 20-17 defeat at London Irish on Sunday afternoon.

Warriors enjoyed 70 per cent possession in the first half but numerous handling errors prevented them from taking advantage of dangerous positions.

Irish showed the visitors the efficiency they lacked and raced into a 17-3 half-time lead as a result.

Worcester rallied well in the second-half to draw level at 17-17 thanks to tries from centurion Niall Annett and Justin Clegg before a late monster penalty kick from Paddy Jackson sealed the win.

"They scored two tries against the run of play, we had 70% possession and territory which tells you all you need to know," said Thomas.

"Previously as a team, it isn't often we win the possession and territory counts, so our ability to maintain possession was good at times and I think there was a huge amount of good in our game, the ability to be relentless, to keep going throughout, they played their hearts out for each other.

"I think the big thing is our handling, the error count in that department was 18 turnovers from handling. We are working hard on it in training with different constraints, putting them under fatigue and pressure, it's something we've been working them hard on so obviously it's disappointing.

"The players are really gutted at the moment because in the last few weeks it's been the same narrative, we've come up short in games that we should have won,

"That's life sometimes, none of us want to be in this position and we're saying the same things each week, we're working incredibly hard but it is what it is, we have to be better in those crucial moments.

"We've got a monkey on our backs that we have to shake but I'm hugely disappointed but more so for the boys."

Thomas was keen to emphasise the work going in at training during the week but also appreciated the defensive effort from London Irish.

"It could be that we are trying too hard," he added.

"We practice it so much in training. It's all about your fine motor skills and that's probably the first thing that goes under stress and fatigue.

"But you have to give credit to London Irish they were immense in defence and did so for a huge amount of that game.

"Our theme for the week was to be relentless and that's what we were today.

"At half time nothing changed, the whole thing about being relentless is that is might take sixty seventy minutes for that dam to burst so I said to the players to stick in there, work hard and the main message was to make sure our fundamentals were good.

"They improved second half but unfortunately we didn't convert in the second half. They are all proud to pull on the shirt and represent the club, they're working their hearts out but unfortunately is is what it is.

"Sport is all about confidence, you look at Wales at the moment, they're on for a Grand Slam next week after they were scratching around for a win in the autumn.

"It's all about the top two inches."