After securing a top six finish last season, Peter Stringer is confident that Sale Sharks can go one better ahead of Friday’s season opener against Newcastle Falcons.
“It’s important that we get off on the right foot away from home” he said, “that’s one area we’ve really marked in our goals.
“We want to improve our performances away from home, and if we have ambitions of reaching the top four, which we do, it’s all about getting those wins on the road.”
Sale beat the Falcons at Kingston Park on the final day of last season, securing sixth spot, but Stringer insists it’s a tough place to visit.
“I’ve play up there over a number of years and it’s never easy,” he explained.
“They’re a side that are improving all the time and it will be difficult because they’re first up, they’re at home and they will want to put on a good performance.
“They’re getting good crowds at their games so it’s going to be tough, but it’s all about up building on our two pre-season wins over Fylde and Edinburgh.
Despite those two wins, the former Ireland international explained there is still room for improvement.
“We trained all of pre-season and we tried to put things together that we’ve learnt, and patterns we’ve worked on. A lot of things came off, but a lot of things didn’t.
“We can bring certain things from that Edinburgh game, but we know it’s going to be a step-up in intensity and the level we’re playing at, so we need to make a massive improvement in our play.”
Stringer also echoed the ambitions of Steve Diamond, and said he’s “very confident” that Sale can achieve a top four finish.
“We had an opportunity to get top four last year, bar a couple of results that didn’t go our way, but I think we’ve learnt from that.
“We’ve lost a couple of players, but on the positive side of things we’ve bought in some really good guys, and we’ve certainly added to our squad.
“Coming in to this year with our pre-season and the guys we’ve added, I certainly think there is a great opportunity for us there.”