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Even the toughest go through tough times

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As Tigers fans we've had it good over the years. We've seen our team carry all before them - from a generation brought up on cup final successes at Twickenham to the legions who followed the all-conquering heroes of the Premiership and Europe.

This is the home of legends like Deano, Johnno, Backy, Moodos, the ABC Club, Dusty, Wheeler, Underwood, Healey, Stimmo, Cozza, Geordie and countless others. The club has had more than its fair share of the best, that’s for sure.
At the moment, in the raw moments following defeat by Glasgow, we all feel down. The glory days seem a long way away. But, let’s not forget, success is not ancient history – the Premiership trophy has come to Welford Road three times in the last 10 years, we’ve been to two European Finals in the same spell and won two knockout cups. Only eight months ago Tigers were in the last four of the European Cup.
Now we’re having a tough time. Performances and results have fallen well below Tigers standards, ABC hero Cockerill has gone and there is still work to do to get something out of this season in league or cup.
In a run of five successive defeats since Christmas, the early-season win over unbeaten Bath and the impressive victory over French champions Racing in October seem but a distant memory.
Getting nilled at home is a painful experience and passions are running high.
In the wake of defeat around the new year Cockers made the comment that even the golden generation of Johnno and Co lost occasionally and it got The Tig thinking. Yes, we’ve been brought up on the glories, but we’ve also come through disappointments along the way.
The team of legends did not win every week. Tigers went five years without a trophy after topping Europe for a second time (and England for the fourth year in a row) in 2002. Names like Johnson, Back, Kay, Moody, Rowntree, Healey and Corry were part of that run. If you ever doubt how relieved the Tigers were to break the drought, just look at the faces of the squad that lifted the Anglo-Welsh Cup in 2007 – and then went on to win the league and reach the European Cup Final in the same season.
Johnson had to lead Tigers through so-called ‘wildcard’ fixtures in 2003 and 2004 to retain a  rightful place at Europe’s top table and in 2008, with the clock ticking into the closing stages of the last league game of the season, Tigers sat seventh in the league table before Tom Varndell struck with a try against Harlequins. By the time the final whistle blew, Tigers were in a semi-final and went on to reach the final yet again.
There have been tough times before and The Tig remembers them because the toughest days can only make the best ones even sweeter.
The current players have a lot to live up to in terms of previous glories but the challenge first is to match those battles in adversity and come through the other side as a stronger outfit.