Leicester Tigers tighthead Dan Cole says the premature end to the club’s European campaign will not distract from their final two league fixtures.
Tigers face Bristol Bears (Wednesday, September 30, 5.30pm) and Harlequins (Sunday, October 4, 3.00pm) in the Gallagher Premiership after a bruising battle at RC Toulon on Saturday saw them bow out of the European Challenge Cup.
And now, despite a curtailed end to the season, Cole told LTTV how players and coaches alike must not, and will not, change their approach for domestic duties.
“Any time you get into a semi-final, you’ve got to make the most of them and unfortunately, we didn’t,” he said. “Credit to Toulon, they deserved to win at the end of the day. We weren’t good enough.
“But the amount of effort and fight that we showed, especially at the end of both halves, we didn’t roll over even though this is a tough place to come and play.
“There’s a lot of stuff that is fixable, which is a good thing. There are a lot of positives we can take out of the game.
“Obviously we’re disappointed to lose, but it’s a performance that we can build on and it’s starting to show what we’re about.
“We want to win the next two games. We’re on a journey, and whoever is involved we want to win.
“We want to put in a performance and do well. Losing [at Toulon] doesn’t change our motivations for the rest of the season.”
Despite the result, the 98-cap England and British & Irish Lions prop picked out some key foundations which the club has worked hard to implement.
He continued: “You can see in the whole way we prepare for games … the team is in as good a shape as it’s been in.
“Off the field, we have been reinforcing that ‘never quit’ into the way we play. That’s something that Steve reinforces every day of training and those things are coming through, and they’re starting to show in the way we’re playing.”