MARK McCall admitted he was concerned his players would stop caring about Saracens’ season after the second points deduction.

Sarries were docked an initial 35 points for breaching wage cap regulations, an amount the team believed they could overcome.

But when relegation was confirmed by a further 70-point deduction, the director of rugby was worried the players’ heads would drop for the rest of the season.

“That was what we were concerned about because we never really had a situation where there is nothing to play for in a way,” McCall said.

“When the first announcement came there was a real belief in the squad that we could avoid relegation and that was a real purpose that we had.

“So, for now, we have got the quarter final in seven weeks’ time, and we did say at the start of last week that everything between now and then is with that game in mind.”

McCall’s fears looked to be coming to fruition after a thrashing at the hands of Harlequins, but his side responded with a win against Sale.

The 52-year-old explained that the players pushed and motivated each other to maintain the high standards they have set.

“It felt in the last couple of weeks that things had settled down a lot around the club. There’s a lot more clarity in most people’s individual situations which I think is important,” he said.

“The big thing is that you want to be respected by your teammates and to be respected by your teammates you need to front up.

“You need to prepare properly, and you need to be pulling your weight. That’s something that they talk about a lot.

“We have got a group who are very committed to one another here, which is something you saw on the weekend.”

Sarries look to build momentum when they face Wasps next and McCall is wary of how dangerous their back line can be.

“Wasps have been the same over the last three or four years,” he said. “They have got danger everywhere in their back line and they can hurt you from deep.

“They have got some great individual players, like Dan Robson, but then in the back line you can take your pick of [Malakai] Fekitoa, [Lima] Sopoaga.

“All of these guys can hurt you if you’re not on it.”