SARACENS will not be taking Worcester Warriors lightly when the sides meet in next Saturday's crucial clash, according to lock Mike Williams.

Warriors visit the Allianz Park home of the Aviva Premiership leaders for a match they have to win to keep alive any chance of falling through the relegation trapdoor.

Success, allied to a Newcastle Falcons defeat at Wasps, would ensure Warriors' future would come down to the season-finale against Gloucester at Sixways.

While it would be easy to suggest a Worcester victory against Saracens is unlikely, Williams insists it is not a foregone conclusion.

In his opinion, and that of many others, Dean Ryan's side are a different prospect to earlier in the season and have improved, despite only picking up one win.

Saracens, who have a nine-point cushion over Northampton Saints at the summit, also have the small matter of a Heineken Cup semi-final at Twickenham today against Clermont Auvergne, while Warriors have a weekend off.

Williams said: "We have performed against some of top sides in the league and I think it will be good for us seeing that Sarries are playing a European semi-final this weekend.

"Next week we will look at things we can target against them. You can't underestimate any side and I don't think they're going to underestimate us the way we've been playing.

"We've pretty much improved week in, week out for the last eight or nine weeks in the Premiership and become closer as a group.

"It's not easy to be losing but we are very confident at the way we've been playing and we will be confident against Sarries."

Meanwhile, Worcester Cavaliers youngster Jon Hughes admits he wants to make the next big step in playing for Warriors.

The Royal Grammar School Worcester full-back has represented Warriors' second-string side throughout this season and has set his sights on a place in the first-team.

Hughes, who tasted success at Sixways earlier this season when his RGS side beat King's School Worcester in the Modus Challenge Cup, said: "I want to play professionally and I'm working hard towards that. I try to get as much contact time as I can.

"I'm still at school so I usually come down to Sixways in my free periods and I've had a few kicking sessions with Sam Vesty and train with the boys whenever I can.

"The club has put a big emphasis on youth so I think it's going to be a great place for youngsters over the next few years."