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Key: We can turn the corner

Leeds Carnegie boss Andy Key accepts his team are in "a tough position" during a prolonged fight for Aviva Premiership survival - but he also believes their fate is far from being settled as they prepare to face Newcastle in a critical league clash on Monday.

The Falcons are just one place above bottom club Leeds - who head to the north-east following successive Amlin Challenge Cup victories over Italian minnows Crociati - but victory at Kingston Park is likely to open a minimum 10-point gap on the Yorkshire club.

"It has been nice for everyone to come into work with a smile on their face after the recent wins," said rugby director Key, reflecting on the European successes. "We know that we are in a tough position in the Premiership, but we are confident that we can turn the corner."

He continued: "A lot of the talk surrounding this game has been about it being a 'must win' fixture with both ourselves and Newcastle at the foot of the table.

"However, while it is a very important game, there is still a long way to go in the season.

"I remember this time last year we played Bath at Headingley Carnegie and people were talking about that being a relegation decider, but in actual fact Bath went on to finish in the top four and we finished in 10th."

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