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Deacon calls on Tigers to get tighter

Tigers assistant coach Brett Deacon has called on the squad to ‘get even tighter’ as a group, ahead of welcoming London Irish to Welford Road in Round 13 of the Aviva Premiership.

“They were quite downbeat after a defeat but, now it’s all about trying to draw positives from the last six weeks,” Deacon said.

The match day squad named earlier today includes just one change to the starting side that took on Exeter last weekend, with Brendon O’Connor coming in to the team at openside flanker in place of Luke Hamilton.

In the only other changes to the match-day squad, Greg Bateman returns after a lengthy spell on the sidelines through injury and Harry Thacker replaces skipper Tom Youngs on the bench.

George Ford will again lead the Tigers in the absence of the injured Youngs, which Deacon said was a role the England fly-half had done well in the traditional day-before Captain’s Run when asked of the mood in the camp on match eve.

“The mood was sharp and energised, lead well by George Ford, and the boys are ready,” he said.

“They want to find a reaction and change from the past couple of weeks and turn it in to a win against Irish.”

After an unfortunate four straight losses in the all-English competition, the former Tigers player turned coach was positive and precise in his assessment of what’s required to return the Leicester side to the winners list.

“We need to take the game to them,” Deacon said.

“We’ve focused a lot on our game this week, which is the most important thing, and we need to execute our game plan, remove those errors and make sure we’re disciplined.

In response to the criticism of the Tigers form, Deacon was equally as positive and upbeat on how to counter the outside noise.

“We need to remain united, we need to get even tighter together as a group.

"We need to go out there and execute individually, to get that confidence early on, and I think we’ll see a high tempo early with the boys rallying around one another and get that result we need.”