An honest and open Guy Thompson has urged the Leicester Tigers squad to stay tight with just two games remaining in the Gallagher Premiership season.
The back-rower was announced as the Lumbers Player of the Month at half-time of Saturday’s Round 20 loss to Bristol Bears, almost doubling the votes total of fellow nominees George Ford and Will Spencer following a heroic performance at Kingston Park.
But a modest Guy was keen to focus on the squad’s current league position before thinking about any individual awards.
Asked whether he had been happy with his own performances in recent weeks, Thompson said: “Yes and no. I think there are bits of my performances that I’ve been happy with, but also [against Bristol]; bitterly disappointed that I slipped off a few tackles and a few ill-disciplined errors, so I’m always striving to be better.
“Thank you very much to everyone that voted and thank you for the award, but it’s a team game and a squad effort, and at this moment in time we need to get tight together and we need the fans’ support.
“The supporters were outstanding today, they were really cheering us on here and last week.”
Thompson – who wore the No7 shirt on Saturday with the return of Sione Kalamafoni at the back of the Tigers scrum – also collected the LeoVegas Fans’ Favourite award for his part in Saturday’s match that saw Leicester lead for most of the game.
“We poured out some outstanding rugby,” he continued. “We pulled off some great things.
“When we feel that we’re playing with a bit of freedom, then we’re a very good side.
“At the moment, we don’t feel that we can do that because our results haven’t let us…sometimes we need to take our foot off the gas, assess things, and control the game.”
And the 32-year-old was also full of praise for fellow Lumbers Player of the Month nominee Ford, who pulled the strings against a Bears side looking to break the field and profit from an unstructured game.
“As far as fly-halves go, I think he’s one of the best in the world at controlling the game and putting us in the right areas,” Thompson said. “If we all get on his page and make sure that we’re playing at his level, then we won’t go far wrong.”
The Lumbers Player of the Month is sponsored by club partner Lumbers Jewellers and voted for by fans from a three-man shortlist, nominated by the Tigers head coach Geordan Murphy and his coaching staff on a monthly basis.