Steve Borthwick says a top-six finish to the season shows how Leicester Tigers have made progress and also how the hard work has to continue to move forward again.
The 38-31 bonus-point win at Wasps on Saturday secured sixth place in the Gallagher Premiership table after two successive seasons in 11th and, with it, a Heineken Cup spot for next season.
“After the game I said thank-you to the players for all their effort and for how hard they compete for the team,” head coach Borthwick said.
"The players showed how much it meant to them today, they kept fighting and fighting.
“There were a lot of swings in the game and we have to look at how we can eradicate those swings, you minimise them because they were costly. But at the same time we had less possession, less territory and made 100 more tackles, and to win from there shows the guys have a real attitude to work and fight which is terrific.
“The objective was to improve every week and work exceptionally hard to improve. I think we have had really good intent to do that.
“There is plenty to work on. I have thoughts and ideas where we need to go next. I’ll have a bit of time to think about the next steps, we have to push on and be better next season because the league will be stronger again and everyone looks to push on.
“We've made progress but it has highlighted there is plenty we need to do to improve.”
With a sizeable travelling support in a crowd of 7,000 as Wasps were able to open up doors for the first time since lockdown last year, Borthwick added: “We’ve had a few games now – the Final at Twickenham, away games at Worcester and Wasps, and the home game last week, where we’ve had the Tigers faithful supporting us and we heard them today. It was terrific to hear and I hope the Tigers fans see how much the players care for the team and the club, and hope they can be proud of their team. We’re looking forward to seeing them next season.
“Each week we want a performance that the players can be proud of and the supporters can be proud of, and I think our supporters saw today a team that cares deeply about representing Leicester Tigers.”