Having lost two of their opening three Championship games, they host Nottingham tomorrow missing a dozen first-team players.
Stirling has made five enforced changes to his side after last week’s 42-24 loss at Ealing Trailfinders.
Vice-captain Pete Lucock joins captain Richard Mayhew on the sidelines after the centre suffered an ankle injury in that defeat while long-serving back-row Richard Beck also suffered a serious shoulder injury.
Still, lock Mike Myerscough makes his first appearance of the campaign after shoulder surgery and fellow second-row Matt Smith also returns after missing the Ealing defeat with a leg infection.
“Nottingham will be tough,” said Stirling.
“They come in off a good win against London Scottish and they’ll come here looking to build on that and already full of confidence
“Our performance against Ealing was OK in parts but we didn’t get the result we wanted so we have a bit of work to do.
“It is tough (missing 12 players) and it’s been a tough week although I think some of the quality we’ve produced on the training park has just epitomised the desire and the culture of the squad.
“There’s a couple of ways you can react to this sort of situation where you have multiple injuries to key players.
“You can mope about it and let it affect you and throw the towel in or actually dig deep and as a group be resilient and dig in to give the best you’ve got.
“I have to say they’ve done that this week and I know we’ll go out there and give it our best.”
The weighty experience of Myerscough and Smith at second-row should aid their hopes of pulling off a victory.
Stirling added: “It’s definitely good to have those two back especially given the conditions we’ll have on Sunday.
“There’s been a fair bit of rain and a bit more forecast and, although this ground drains extremely well, it will be greasy on top.
“The strength we can put in the second-row with Matt and Mike will definitely help with the game plan we’re looking to deliver at weekend.”
Trystan Lloyd comes in for Beck, Tom Bullough starts his first game of the season at centre in place of Lucock and Dan Temm will captain the side.
Stirling said the squad have dealt well with the loss of so many players and he expects an improvement from them on Sunday.
“The most important thing is the boys are looking for a reaction – a reaction from key people in the coaching and management staff,” he added. “We’re just getting on with the job.
“Nobody said it’d be easy.
“We didn’t anticipate the injuries we have got and those to be to such key people in our squad but we know we’ll go out and give it our best shot.”