Newcastle Falcons director of rugby Gary Gold has warned supporters to temper expectations following his arrival at Kingston Park.
Falcons are nine points adrift of safety in the Premiership with only two wins in the league so far this term.
"I don't think anybody would be foolish enough to make that [survival] a prediction," Gold told BBC Look North.
"Nine points is a big deficit in the Premiership, if teams around us continue to win we won't stay up."
Gold added: "The only thing we can commit to is trying to improve and hopefully that will lead to some success.
"I'm here for that reason, and I'm going to give it my best shot."
With Leeds Carnegie relegated to the Championship at the end of last season, Newcastle and Stockport-based Sale Sharks are the top flight's only northern teams.
Sale's revival under Steve Diamond - who are 18 points clear of Newcastle in seventh - has pulled them away of danger but with just nine games to save Falcons from the drop, union's national spread is under threat.
"To have a Premiership club and a presence in the north east is very important," added Gold.
"There are fantastic supporters over here, they're knowledgeable.
"I'm fully aware of the history, having arguably had one of the world's greatest players play for this club [Jonny Wilkinson] and so many good England representatives coming out of the club.
"I think it's really important for English rugby to have a footprint around the entire country, particularly the north east.
"There's a proud tradition here and it's important we show improvement in a short space of time."