“We’ve got a good bunch of guys, they are playing and working as hard as they can,” said director of rugby Cockerill after Saturday’s defeat by Saracens.
“We have to keep cracking on and take the view that if it doesn’t kill you it makes you stronger.
“It hurts when you lose a game, especially by a big margin, and so it should. Conceding 50 points at home is unheard of here.
“These are tough times for us but you show what you are made of when things go against you and now we have to regroup, be in a positive frame of mind for the next game and play better.”
Tigers have one win from the opening four rounds of the Aviva Premiership season, but Cockerill’s options in rotating his squad are limited with 12 players away on Rugby World Cup duty and a lengthy injury list including Craig Newby, Jordan Crane, Geoff Parling and Kieran Brookes.
“The players being away at the World Cup is one thing but the injury list is horrific as well,” he said.
“We cannot make excuses, but we have to manage the next couple of weeks without those guys and this side has to react next week.
“We’ve got a tough game against Bath and then Harlequins, who are going well, but we have to make sure we get out there and do ourselves justice.
“I cannot fault the players’ effort in the most part and we are doing some good things. But when the moment comes you have to make the right call and we are not doing that.
“Saracens are missing a few as well and they played very well. We were not good enough. You cannot drop off tackles or miss your tackles, that is not good enough. You cannot let a side like Sarries get away because they are a very hard side to chase down.”
The players received a huge chorus of support from the stands as they left the pitch at the final whistle, despite the result, and Cockerill said: "I think people understand where we are. The support was fantastic. The support when the players were leaving the field was great and we appreciate that. But we do not want to be a club used to losing, or earning praise for courageous battling, we want to be winning.”