Aviva Premiership: Dean Ryan says Gloucester in worst rut in 15 years
Last Updated: 21/12/13 2:36pm
Dean Ryan: Gloucester in a rut
Worcester rugby director Dean Ryan says Sunday's opponents Gloucester are in their worst rut in 15 years.
Ryan's own team have lost all nine Aviva Premiership matches this season but he could not resist twisting the knife on his former club who are two places above them in the table.
Ryan coached at Gloucester between 2002 and 2009, overseeing a boom time at the West Country club under the late Tom Walkinshaw.
But he paid the price for failing to deliver silverware, and left in 2009.
"I've never known Gloucester to be in this kind of position for 15 years," Ryan told Sky Sports.
"I don't understand why they are towards the bottom as they have a gifted backline."
Gloucester's England fly-half Freddie Burns has been heavily linked with a switch to Leicester Tigers, should captain Toby Flood quit Welford Road for Toulouse next season.
Flanker Akapusi Qera is expected to join Toulouse in January, and Ryan said uncertainty about players' futures will not help them ahead of the derby clash.
Ryan said: "There are a lot of rumours linking a number of people with other places and I don't know whether that is unsettling them.
"I would love for this group to get reward for the hard work they have been doing. It would be a significant step turning into the new year with a win.
"We have to make sure we are as strong as we have been in recent weeks and get ourselves across the line.
"It's one of those derbies that adds a little bit of spice. There is friction and a bit of player traffic between the two."