ESSEX skipper Ryan ten Doeschate believes the club have shown what newly-promoted sides can do as they stand on the brink of the Specsavers County Championship title.

Essex are close to winning the league for the first time in 25 years after beating Warwickshire by an innings and 56 runs on Thursday.

Lancashire can delay their celebrations for a week if they pull off an unlikely win over Somerset, though they are eight wickets down with a lead of only 45 as the game in Taunton heads into a final day.

But Essex are virtually guaranteed the title just 12 months after they won Division Two and Ten Doeschate feels they have broken the fear of the gap between the leagues.

He said: "There's not much difference and it's one of the myths I hope we've dispelled this year. Teams coming up don't necessarily have to go down.

"It's foolish to look at past records. You need to look at the team and the players you've got. By putting yourself in the position of fearing the change - it doesn't help anyone.

"The myth of the big gap between the divisions got in our heads a little bit at the start."

Essex go to Hampshire next week before finishing the season at home to Yorkshire and will stay in Birmingham on Thursday night as they anticipate a title win.

Former England captain Alastair Cook was in the stands to watch as he prepares to rejoin the squad for their final two games.

"The important thing was to come here and to the job, irrespective of what happens at Taunton. Getting the eighth win should be enough, even if Lancashire win," said former Holland international Ten Doeschate.

"I want to get home and chill out but the young guys fancy a couple of nights in Birmingham. We need to watch what's going on in the Lancashire game but for the next few hours we'll have a few beers, enjoy this week and the expectation we're going to be champions."

Warwickshire crumbled after starting the day 161 runs behind and were reduced to 55 for six just after lunch. They were all out for 112 after just 46 overs, keeping the 2012 champions bottom and on the verge of relegation.

Essex's Simon Harmer took four for 25 while Jamie Porter, the league's top wicket-taker, claimed three for 37. Matt Lamb top-scored for Warwickshire with 35.

Ian Bell (five) and Jonathan Trott (six) both failed to make double figures and director of cricket Ashley Giles knows they must accept their impending fate, which could be sealed as soon as Friday.

He said: "At some point everyone has got to take their medicine, we've had 10 years (in Division One) but there's no doubt we need to rebuild.

"You've always got to be hopeful (of instant promotion) but we've got some changes to make. A little bit of pain will do us good. We've got ourselves into this position and we need to do some hard yards in the winter."