Mark McCall insists Saracens are going to climb out of their Premiership hole one step at a time.

The prospect of a 35-point deduction could be pretty daunting to the defending champions – but instead McCall’s side have rolled up their sleeves and got to work.

Since the fine and deduction was handed down, the men in black have gone to both Gloucester and Bath and claimed impressive wins.

The latter came on Friday night as Sarries welcomed back their international stars like Maro Itoje and Owen Farrell in a 25-12 win.

They are now back to just minus 18, still bottom of the log with work to do.

But McCall said: “A more positive way of looking at it is that we have now played two games in the Premiership post the salary cap decision.

“One of those was Gloucester away when we had none of our international players available and now Bath away.

“To have won them both is a good start for us in the campaign to stay up.

“Our international players were magnificent... you saw what the club means to them. I thought it was a real ‘together’ performance and really pleasing overall. That’s a good win.”

One man who was not there to witness the win was Sarries chairman Nigel Wray, the man at the centre of the salary cap judgement.

McCall added: “It’s a real shame that he doesn’t feel comfortable to come to the away matches. For somebody who has actually given rugby a lot, I believe, and given the north London community so much good, for him not to feel he cannot watch his club is really sad. Hopefully he starts to feel differently soon, but it’s his decision for now.”

But the victory will have been a real tonic for Wray and the entire club, coming as it did at the Rec in fairly dominant fashion.

“It was a tough game in tough conditions, quite slippy,” McCall added.

“Bath had the better of it for the first 20 minutes. We had to absorb quite a lot of pressure, which we did. I just felt we grew into the game, got better and took more control as the game went on.

“The build-up to the try was outstanding and we kept (Sam) Underhill and (Francois) Louw away from the ball, which was an achievement.

“To come here and win – and win with a bit of control – was very good.”