Harry Wells says the Leicester Tigers squad have been boosted by going back to basics ahead of Saturday’s visit of Gallagher Premiership table-toppers Exeter.
“[This week] has given us the opportunity to come in, graft together as a group and really get some stuff done,” Wells said.
“[Last week] wasn’t really a week off, more an extra week for preparation.
“We speak about doing more as a team, collectively, and it’s about just trying to stay positive in these tough times.
“We’ve taken the time to have a little bit of a reset, and I think the mood in the camp is good.
“Obviously, we know where we stand and we can’t beat around the bush in that regard, but we’ll see where we get to at the weekend.”
“It’s almost like a final for us.”
Mike Ford – father of Tigers fly-halves George and Joe – started at Oval Park as coaching consultant on Monday, and will act as a guide for head coach Geordan Murphy in a league run-in that culminates in a final-day fixture against Ford’s former club, Bath, at Welford Road in May.
And Wells suggested that the addition of the former Toulon boss to Murphy’s coaching team will deliver greater clarity for the playing squad.
He continued: “With Mike coming in, he might look at things slightly differently.
“For instance, that might give us a slightly different perspective in the way we might approach the game at the weekend. This weekend is absolutely massive for us.”
Exeter are the visitors to Welford Road on Saturday, and Wells said that the squad will stop at nothing to see a repeat of last season’s 20-13 win over the eventual Premiership finalists.
“We’ve got to give absolutely everything to try and come away with a win at the end,” he said.
“It’s almost like a final for us. Obviously they’re a great team, they’ve always been at the top end of the table, so you respect that and try to nullify their threats more than anything.
“You’re playing against a team that can retain the ball for 30-plus phases…discipline as well, and not letting them into our own half is going to be key.”