Worcester captain Pat Sanderson openly admits the Warriors expected more from themselves this season.
But victory over Bourgoin in France on Saturday would keep alive one of their main objectives - Heineken Cup qualification for next term.
Worcester finished a disappointing 11th in the Guinness Premiership, ruling out any chance of securing a Heineken place via English rugby’s flagship competition.
The European Challenge Cup winners are guaranteed a Heineken spot, though, and Worcester will aim to reach a second successive final when they visit Stade Pierre Rajon.
“We expected far more from ourselves and believed we had a squad good enough to earn us Heineken Cup rugby solely on our league performances,” said former England flanker Sanderson.
“But, while that obviously did not happen, we have found some good form of late and turned some good sides over, and now we have a huge semi-final to look forward to.”
Worcester lost to Bath in last year’s Challenge Cup final, but only after producing a battling display in atrocious conditions at Kingsholm.
And if they topple Bourgoin, it would also end Wasps’ Heineken Cup hopes.
Wasps’ seventh-place Premiership finish means the Londoners will play top-flight European rugby next term - but only if Bourgoin lift the Challenge Cup.
“We face a big challenge at Bourgoin - on their day, they can be pretty formidable,” added Sanderson.
“They are a very big, strong and physical side, and while we know exactly what to expect from them, that doesn’t make it any easier stopping them.
“It promises to be a fantastic physical contest and could well come down to who wants it the most on the day.
“It is incredibly important for us to make every possible effort to get to a second successive Challenge Cup final.
“We have not achieved what we would have liked this season, and this semi-final is a real lifeline for us.”