Dean Richards: Newcastle Falcons miss X-Factor' after injuries
Premiership bottom club Newcastle Falcons are lacking "X-Factor" in the back-line through injuries, says director of rugby Dean Richards.
Several internationals, including Samoan wingers Sinoti Sinoti and Alesana Tuilagi and All Black half Mike Delany are currently sidelined.
Falcons, along with Sale Sharks with just 12, have scored the fewest tries in the division.
"I feel sorry for Dave Walder [attack coach]," Richards told BBC Newcastle.
"You look at the guys who are injured, the backs are firing but not firing as well as we could and we probably lack that little bit of X-factor you get with Sinoti, Delany and Gonzalo Tiesi, players like that."
Richards admits the absentees were missed in Sunday's 20-15 loss to nearest rivals London Irish.
"We created four opportunities we didn't convert in the first half and three towards the end," he said. "Had we done that, it might have put a different complexion on the game."
This battle of the Premiership's bottom two began with Irish bottom, two points behind Newcastle, but ended with Falcons switching places and slipping one point adrift at the foot of the table.
Despite a four-point gap between Worcester in 10th spot and the Exiles, Richards is confident there is enough rugby left to play not to leave Falcons on the fringes.
"People were looking at this game today, but winning last week made a big difference," Richard said. "Losing today was galling because we missed our opportunities.
"But as I've said all along, the 10-game sequence (of Premiership matches to end the season) will be the make or break for all sides at the top or the bottom."