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LTTV

We must be smarter, says frustrated Bateman

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Greg Bateman said the performance against Saracens was "utterly disappointing" and not at all up to the standard the Leicester squad know they are capable of when the Tigers prop spoke to LTTV post-match.

"It is really disappointing ... we're only a few weeks into the season and a new chapter for us but, we're at home, and we all feel that we are a lot better than that," he told LTTV.

"I think there are a lot of us getting a bit frustrated with us saying the right things ... we want to actually string it together now.

"We were better in patches today but not for the whole game and I think you get what you deserve."

The front-rower acknowledged that the squad were not smart or efficient enough in their actions in the Premiership showdown with the reigning champions and allowed the visitors too much time in the Tigers half, causing further headaches for themselves in creating chances in attack.

"We played the whole second-half in our end of the pitch and it's very difficult to score from there," Bateman said.

"We need to be a bit smarter, we need to be more efficient.

"We are utterly disappointed because we know we are better than that."

Bateman does believe the squad have improved their ability to fight their way back into games and turn around the "momentum" in match but admitted poor exit options resulted in handing a quality side like Saracens too many opportunities.

"We are getting a lot better when things don't go our way at being able to snap back and get into momentum," he said.

"We weren't exiting properly and they are quality outfit, who will put you under pressure, and so we needed to be better at that.

"We were ready to get into the fight ... we just ended up defending for long periods."

The Tigers prop also said it the performance wasn't up to scratch for not only the squad but the more than 18,000 strong home crowd who turned up for the first home fixture of the 2019/20 Premiership campaign.

"Especially at home, we need to be putting on a better performance for ourselves and for the fans," he said.

One highlight for Tigers in the match was the dominance of the Leicester scrum over Saracens and Bateman said it was a squad-wide effort of both the start and replacement front-rowers who deserved the credit, as well as their leader Boris Stankovich who returned last weekend from his role with the Canada side at the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

"That's what Boris has built, the ability for guys to come in and do the job," said the front-rower.

"You have got to have areas of the game that you can attack teams like that [Saracens] and I think it was a really strong, strong performance from our bench today."

Looking ahead to next weekend, Bateman said the job doesn't get any easier with table-topping Gloucester the next visitors to Welford Road in six days.

The front-rower said the focus must be on what Tigers can control and fix ahead of the crucial Premiership fixture.

"It's the least easy of the games, isn't it?" Bateman admitted.

"We have got a short turnaround, we aren't going to be focus too much on what they do ... let's get our own stuff right and focus on getting a good performance here at home."

Watch the full interview with Bateman above on LTTV.