BATH hooker Tom Dunn believes his side are improving every week and a well-timed run of wins could see them finish the Premiership season in third, writes JONATHAN LEIGHFIELD.

Four wins from their last five games in all competitions has seen the mood at The Rec vastly improve and even their close loss to Worcester Warriors gave the Blue, Black and Whites increased belief that their underwhelming start to the season has turned around.

Bath made it back to back cup wins with a comprehensive 52-0 victory over bitter rivals Gloucester in their final Premiership Rugby Cup clash following a narrow 18-16 win over Wasps in the last match of their European Champions Cup Pool.

With confidence at a season high in the Bath camp, the young hooker says belief has never wavered and everyone must now focus on executing plans for the entire 80 minutes if they are to secure a top-four finish.

Dunn said: “We all still believe third is achievable. None of us are short of belief, at all, because I think we’ve shown in patches how good we can be. It’s about us now putting it together back to back, week to week for the full 80 minutes.

“We take our season in blocks and the last block has been really good. We’ve improved a lot since our last Premiership outing, and we need to go out on Saturday and make sure we show that.

“We played our normal game (against Gloucester). We didn’t look at them too much, we just focused on ourselves and tried to execute what we know we do every week here at Farleigh House onto the pitch.

“The Newcastle game is the start of a big four-week block for us. By the end of these four weeks, we’ll know whether we will be competing for a top-four place or a bottom-four place. The league is so tight, every game is a massive opportunity now.”

With Premiership Rugby’s calls for “crucial discussions” with the top clubs due to take place imminently in regard to potentially ring-fencing promotion and relegation, Bath’s efforts to make sure they remain a club in the top level of English rugby could be more important than ever.

Bath’s Dunn feels expanding the league to give fans more competitive action might be the way forward as the RFU search for an answer that will give English rugby the best chance of succeeding.

“For me, I’m not for or against (ring-fencing promotion),” he said.

“I just think there should be an opportunity for the teams below – your London Iris, your Ealing etc – to apply for promotion if they want to.

“Then ring-fence it at 14-16 teams and then remove the Premiership Cup.

“Then you’ve got six fixtures there that you could fill with competitive ones instead.”