Matt O’Connor is urging Leicester Tigers to produce a performance on which they can build into the second half of the season when they return to Welford Road on Saturday.
Tigers lost 30-6 at defending Aviva Premiership champions Exeter Chiefs on New Year’s Eve, a sixth successive defeat in all competitions.
Head coach O’Connor says Tigers are working hard to put things right and is looking for a reaction against London Irish when they return to home ground for the first game of 2018.
“We have had a tough month with the fixtures we have had, and the results haven’t gone our way,” he said. “There’s only one thing we can do and that is work harder and make sure this weekend at Welford Road we are better again.
“We need to make sure that we are better, and that the things we can control and that make us a good competitive team are better.
“It’s an opportunity to play at home in front of our fans and put out a performance. We need to get back into the winners’ circle and put out a performance we can put our hat on and build into the second-half of the season.”
O’Connor said Tigers played well into the wind during the first-half at Sandy Park, but that they were unable to take their opportunities in the way Exeter did.
“The first-half we were pretty pleased with,” he said. “Going into the breeze we did a pretty good job to keep Exeter out.
“We were pretty confident second-half that we could stay in the game but we lost a lot of collisions.
“We didn’t execute when we had opportunities at their end of the field and we know how clinical Exeter are when you give them opportunities at your end of the field. They took their tries very well and deserved their win.
We are doing good things. We have played the best teams around and we have shown that there is glimpses there of a real quality side.
“But we have to be a better team across the 80 minutes and we have to make sure we put more pressure on the opposition to create scoring opportunities, and that we execute when we do.”