But an unbeaten march towards the European Challenge Cup quarter-finals - and with New Zealand imports Rico Gear, Sam Tuitupou and Greg Rawlinson all making impressive starts to their Worcester careers - suggests better times could lie ahead.
Warriors boss Ruddock said: "There is a real positive environment and intent about the camp at the moment.
"We go into this crucial period of Premiership fixtures near full strength, with a real determination and focus to turn the corner.
"We have been through a testing period, but now we want to come out the other side and register that first league win.
"It is easy to talk about potential - now we have to deliver on the field."
Despite Irish being just two places above Worcester, their impressive Heineken Cup form should lift confidence levels ahead of a festive fixture list that sees them facing Worcester, Leicester and Sale.
Exiles rugby director Brian Smith said: "Our team has played some great rugby in the Heineken Cup.
"We are generally happy with our position in Europe, but we need to get our Premiership season back on track, and that starts on Sunday.
"We have been desperately unlucky so far in the league but, hopefully, good performances in the three big games over Christmas and new year will help us climb back up the table."
Leaders Gloucester head to Newcastle tomorrow, targeting a seventh league win from eight starts, with Falcons coaching and technical director Steve Bates predicting a Christmas cracker.
Bates said: "Gloucester play a very attacking brand of rugby, as do we, so I will be very surprised if the score at the end of 80 minutes is 3-3.
"We are playing on our home pitch in front of what will be our biggest crowd of the season, and all players rise to those sorts of occasions.
"It will undoubtedly be a tough game against an excellent side, but this is what rugby is all about.
"Far from being daunted, the boys are actually really excited by the challenge of proving their credentials against the very best."
Gloucester head coach Dean Ryan makes three changes from the side that crushed Heineken Cup opponents Bourgoin last weekend, calling up scrum-half Gareth Cooper, lock Marco Bortolami and flanker Alasdair Strokosch.
Most of a bumper Kingston Park crowd, though, will be relishing the fly-half battle between Newcastle's Jonny Wilkinson and his possible eventual England successor, Ryan Lamb.
Bates added: "If Gloucester's big ball carriers are allowed to run at us then that obviously hampers our game, but the boys have worked hard at controlling that during training this week and we look forward to seeing how they get on."
Champions Leicester, struggling to make this season's Heineken Cup quarter-finals after losses at Leinster and Toulouse, field a much-changed side for Saturday's Edgeley Park encounter against Sale.
Tigers boss Marcelo Loffreda recalls All Blacks centre Aaron Mauger - he partners Ollie Smith in midfield - with prop Julian White and flanker Luke Abraham also starting as Leicester target a victory that could take them into the top three.
But Sale, buoyed by number eight Sebastien Chabal and centre Lee Thomas signing new contracts earlier this week, could take some stopping, given their European Challenge Cup form of four successive bonus-point wins.