Steve Rhodes says Worcestershire "will continue to fight" on the final day to save the game and attempt to put pressure on Sussex in the Specsavers County Championship clash at the 1st Central County Ground.
But Director Of Cricket Rhodes admits that opting for the wrong decision with the toss and bowling first on a wicket of increasing up and down bounce has been a crucial element.
Worcestershire will resume tomorrow on 124-4 in their second innings after being asked to follow on. They were bowled out for 312 after an opening stand of 215 between Daryl Mitchell (121) and Brett D'Oliveira (80).
Mitchell hit another 54 in the second innings and Worcestershire will require another 143 to make Sussex bat again.
Rhodes told BBC Hereford-Worcester's Dave Bradley: "I thought our openers played extremely well – last night and this morning. They manfully toiled out there but also took opportunities to get runs.
"Just before lunch we lost a few wickets and it was increasingly more difficult two fold for the new batters coming in – 1) with the way Sussex bowled and 2) on a pitch that is starting to get increasingly more up and down.
"It really does go back to day one and you think we definitely made the wrong decision regarding the toss.
"There was definitely going to be a bit of sideways movement on the first morning but, as you can see now, with the match unfolding, there is increasingly up and down bounce which is more difficult against the Sussex bowlers.
"But we can't take anything away from them. I thought Chris Jordan was magnificent. He put in a nine-10 over stint at the end of the day which was a great effort.
"Archer, Philander, Wiese all bowled well, van Zyl got wickets, and they've turned up this game. They are good cricketers. There is a real international flavour about Sussex, a lot of ex international players, but in this game so far they have turned up."
Rhodes added: "I don't think it is easy starting against that sort of bowling but we are still fighting.
"Coxy (Ben Cox) and Tonguey (Josh Tongue) were fighting tonight and Mitch played a really good innings in the second innings. We will continue to fight tomorrow.
"If we can knock off these runs, then every single run you get past them is worth double so who knows what we can possibly achieve if we do have the same fight, get two big partnerships, then that will put pressure on Sussex."
Tongue survived the last seven overs after going in at number six as nightwatchman.
Rhodes said: "He did really well. He can bat. He just hasn't had the best of starts in first class cricket batting-wise but it was a really good experience."