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City's success provides glimpse of different side

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Call it a complex, but there are sections of the Leicester Tigers support - as well as players and management no doubt - who are not embarrassed to say they revel in the 'no one likes us, we don't care' mentality.

Rival supporters, motivated mainly by envy of watching years of success, liked nothing more than getting stuck into Leicester, even if their players couldn’t.
When chants of “Boring, boring Leicester” or “Same old Leicester, always cheating” rang out on opposition grounds, you could almost see the satisfaction on the faces of the men in red, white and green, knowing they’d accomplished their mission.
Tigers became a team it was easy to dislike, though not disrespect, and it was a mantle that sat easily on the broad shoulders of men like Martin Johnson, Darren Garforth, Neil Back and Martin Corry. It was not their job to be popular with rival supporters, it was their job to keep the bandwagon rolling. And how we loved it from this side of the fence.
In the years between 2002 and 2007, when Tigers missed out on silverware, opposition fans enjoyed taunting the former champions. Since then, even in the years when Tigers have topped the Premiership try-scoring lists, there are rivals who paint the team as forward-dominated, nasty, cynical, boring and undeserving.
Not that it bothers men like Richard Cockerill, who acknowledges that he was never the most popular man on the field in the middle of that Johnno pack but still drives the Tigers mentality and pursuit of excellence. “We just get on with it while everyone wants someone else to win,” is his view of the typical outsider’s opinion of his club.
The British love to back an underdog and that is not a position we’ve found ourselves in very often at Tigers.
But the widespread support for footballing neighbours Leicester City has provided us all with a glimpse of what just about everyone else has been thinking in our own game.
The neutrals loved City’s fearless assault on the Premier League big boys. Even rival fans started to chant their appreciation of the table-toppers in support of their underdog status, their entertainment factor and the skills of Vardy, Mahrez, Kante and the rest.
City earned their place at the top of the world’s richest league. The table does not lie after a long season. Anyone waiting for them to falter, based purely on the belief that “it cannot last”, ended the season disappointed. If anything, they went from strength to strength in the second half of the season when the pressure was at its highest
Above all else, though, is the obvious fact that Leicester City are Leicester City. Therefore, equally obviously, they aren’t Manchester United or Manchester City, or Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea or Arsenal.
As a Tigers fan, it does seem strange to cheer the underdog, but in this case we’ve been willing to make an exception. Well done neighbours!