Newcastle Falcons Director of Rugby Steve Bates insists he is taking nothing for granted on Sunday as his Falcons side hosts Overmach Rugby Parma at Kingston Park.
The Falcons had to work hard in difficult conditions to grind out a 20-14 victory over Parma last Saturday in the Italian mud, with Bates stating: "You underestimate these guys at your peril. Parma have already beaten Brive this season, which outlines their credentials, and they are in the top three of the Italian league with some big scalps already taken.
"We got exactly what we expected last Saturday over in Italy, a very physical 80 minutes and a tough encounter, so we know what sort of effort is required this weekend in the return leg.
"We have given the players plenty of rest time in the early part of this week, after what was a pretty draining few days for them.
"Two days travelling and 80 minutes of physical rugby on a very muddy energy-sapping pitch have taken their toll a bit, so it is absolutely imperative we look after the players' workload this week and really build up to get them excited and ready for Sunday afternoon.
"The boys really had to battle for their victory over in Parma, it has taken a lot out of them but on the plus side we didn't pick up any major injuries at a time when we already have a number of guys out on the sidelines."
With three teams in the Pool having won two from three in the group stages so far, Bates said: "Sunday's game is absolutely vital in terms of our quarter-final ambitions.
"Parma and Brive both have two wins and are just one point ahead of us in the standings, but if we could win this next game then it puts us in good shape and would make our home match versus Brive in Round 5 all the more important.
"We are not thinking that far ahead at the moment though, we will just look to get the points on Sunday and put in a good performance against a very spirited Parma team which has already demonstrated how dangerous it can be."
The directors of ERC voted unanimously at a Board meeting to postpone all decisions including the release of further instalments of ERC's distributable central revenues to the six shareholder countries until 19 February next when the Board will meet again to reconsider the issue.