Dan Cole says the Leicester Tigers squad will learn a lot about themselves during the club’s “tough patch”.
Cole was named the Lumbers Player of the Month for December after winning the supporters’ vote.
He finished ahead of Logovi’i Mulipola and Sione Kalamafoni in the vote and was announced as the winner during half-time of Sunday’s Champions Cup defeat to Racing 92 at Welford Road.
Cole, who made his 50th appearance in Europe’s elite club competition, said: “I'm very happy to receive such an award and, while I'd obviously prefer to have had better results on the field in the month of December, I want to thank everyone who voted.
“You learn more about yourselves going through a tough patch than when the going is good.
“We have found out a lot about ourselves and now we have to dig deep and get going which I know this club and group of players will do.
“You go through tough times but, you get the chance to find out about one another and come through the other side – which we will do.”