Borthwick previews Sharks encounter |  Leicester Tigers

Borthwick previews Sharks encounter | Leicester Tigers

Steve Borthwick says the focus remains the same at Leicester Tigers – improve, every day.

The Head Coach is under no illusion that, after a disappointing defeat away to Saracens last weekend, it is stating the obvious.

However, the process following each fixture – win or lose – has not changed in the past two seasons.

“It’s a regular process of looking at areas to develop and improve and if we don’t win it’s the same process,” said Borthwick.

“Every Monday we debrief the game and go forward to what we need to do, today was no different. We win games and it’s no different.

“It wasn’t good enough last weekend, nobody has said anything otherwise and now we have looked at what we must do better this week. That’s always the way.”

The challenge is no smaller on Saturday afternoon, at Mattioli Woods Welford Road, when Tigers take on the unbeaten Sale Sharks.

“They are an excellent team; they have a pretty settled squad, they’ve recruited very well and they’re a group which has not been largely affected by summer tours.

“There is that cohesion within their ranks. It’s a settled group of players.

“And, ultimately they were a very good team. They have been in the top half of the competition for many seasons now and would have been disappointed last year not to be semi-finalists.

“It is a big challenge this week, which we will have to be at our best for across the whole 80 minutes on Saturday afternoon.”

So far this season, in four rounds, Borthwick has debuted seven players in the Premiership and – each week – welcomed players into the fold for the new campaign for their first match of the campaign.

Still to return to action are Julián Montoya and Jasper Wiese, as well as a handful of squad members on the comeback from long-term injuries.

While there is experience within the group, the experience as a group is what the Tigers Head Coach is looking to strengthen.

“This is a different squad, a very different squad from that of last season,” said Borthwick.

“People ask about the change, last weekend we had three players in the team we started against Saracens who started the Premiership Final in June.

“I have players still to come back on to the field this season and, in the coming weeks, my squad will change again with – hopefully – plenty of players getting the reward of selection for the autumn internationals.

“The job is to manage that and build the relationships, the partnerships – improve the overall cohesion.”

Following back-to-back away games in the Premiership, Saturday’s fixture will be just the second of the campaign at Mattioli Woods Welford Road – and first in almost three weeks – for Borthwick’s side.

Discussing the return home, the Leicester boss said: “We’re incredibly fortunate that, home or away, we have a huge support in the stands.”

“Wherever we play, in England or across Europe, Tigers Fans travel in numbers to cheer on the team. It is like no other supporter group.

“However, we know what games at home mean to fans and the players feel that too. We all do.

“It is exciting to be back home this week after what seems like a while; we haven’t been at home much so far this season and hopefully Saturday’s performance is one that all 20,000 and more Leicester Tigers fans leave Mattioli Woods Welford Road proud to have seen.”

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