Mike Fitzgerald says recent results do not reflect the improvements in Leicester Tigers’ defence so far this season.
Tigers conceded five tries in defeat at Gloucester last Friday evening, but lock Fitzgerald insists the defence is improving every week.
“I guess nothing has a short-term fix in rugby,” he says. “It looks worse than it probably is on the scoreboard but it’s been getting better and better each week.
“We’ve just not got to let teams get a blow-out on us like we did on the weekend.”
Brett Deacon has led coaching of the defence this season, but Fitzgerald puts responsibility on the players to cut out their individual errors and help improve results.
“Brett has a lot of respect from everyone and has a good system, but we need to implement it a little bit better,” he said.
“He’s put out a good set-up for us so it’s just on us as players to make our tackles and get back in the game.”
Tigers sit seventh in the Gallagher Premiership, two points behind the top four, as they prepare to face defending champions Saracens at Welford Road this Sunday.
Fitzgerald says they will need to work harder than the visitors to stand any chance of ending the visitors’ unbeaten run.
“Saracens work really hard,” he said. “They’re really smart with their kick-chase and their kicking game, so we’ve got to outwork them.
“They’re physical, they carry very hard and we’ve just got to toughen up and get ready to hit some people.”
Tigers against Saracens is a 3.00pm kick-off at Welford Road on Sunday. Tickets are available now. Book in person at the ticket office (open 9.00am-5.00pm Monday-Saturday), phone 0116 319 8888 (option 2) or online.