WORCESTER Warriors find themselves in an unusual position ahead of tonight’s meeting with local rivals Gloucester (7.45pm).

After five games Warriors are usually low on confidence and struggling for wins.

In fact, Worcester had not won a match at this stage in the 2006-07, 2013-14 and 2017-18 seasons.

But this campaign is not following the script as victories over Leicester Tigers, Harlequins and Sale Sharks have seen perennial-strugglers Warriors climb to fourth.

They sit three places and two points above Gloucester but with three quarters of the season left to go, prop Richard Palframan insists it is important his side do not take their foot off the gas.

“We are only five games in but we are in the top four,” Palframan said.

“There is still a long way to go but you have to take stock and think we are here because we have done the right things and have been playing well.

“This is our best start to a Premiership season from a points point of view so all we can do now is carry on going.

“I don’t think you can rest on your laurels. We just have to keep going week by week, game by game and try to get better.”

Despite Warriors’ impressive start to the campaign, which includes a win at The Stoop, bookmakers are anticipating a home victory for Gloucester.

But Palframan believes “being underdogs is still the best way” as Warriors, who have not won at Kingsholm since 2009, look to upset the odds again.

“You can’t underestimate any Premiership team,” Palframan said. “The way we have played this season shows to other teams you can’t think (it is going to be easy against Warriors).

“If teams want to perceive us like that then go on, but we are going to come and show you that your thinking is definitely wrong.

“I would say being the underdogs is still the best way to be because no one expects them.

“We expect things from ourselves and we know we can go out there and get the result.

“You feel it from the other teams but that (underdog) belief within the team isn’t there.

“It is quite nice when people feel like that about you especially when you beat them.”

Gloucester have lost six of their past seven matches, three of those coming in the Heineken Champions Cup.

But they have been boosted by the return of captain Willi Heinz and Palframan is expecting a response from the Cherry and Whites.

“I think they will be disappointed with how they have played and the results leading into this game,” Palframan said. “They will definitely come out firing.

“It’s a local derby so it will be a good test for the boys.”

Palframan previously had a spell at London Irish – a side that have been involved in several relegation battles with Worcester in recent years.

But sixth-placed Irish have also got off to a strong start while the likes of Wasps and Leicester Tigers have struggled.

“When I was at Irish, there was always a big rivalry with Worcester but I think that’s a perception thing from everyone else so I am glad to see that changing,” Palframan said.

“We are not that team which everyone expects to be beat anymore.

“They have said for the past three seasons that it is going to be the closest Premiership ever, but it looks like it’s going be like that again.

“You can’t go into games thinking you can beat teams easily.”