After a stuttering start to the month, Leicester Tigers are desperate to get their Aviva Premiership Rugby season back on track at the Twickenham Stoop on Friday – that’s according to second row Ed Slater.
The Tigers have slumped to two disappointing defeats in February against Sale Sharks at Welford Road and against Newcastle Falcons last weekend and in doing so have lost pace with the top two of Saracens and Exeter Chiefs.
Slater, who has been struggling with injury in recent weeks, is hopeful of making a return to first team action at the Stoop as Leicester look to start climbing the table once again.
The 27-year-old revealed the Tigers have been hugely disappointed with their performances against the Sharks and Falcons and are now on a mission to right their wrongs in South West London.
“We are determined to get things right this weekend after the last couple of performances,” said Slater. “We experienced some disappointing results against Sale and Newcastle.
“I don’t want to take anything away from those sides because they played well but we need to look at ourselves and our performances. We’re not happy with what we produced; we know that and the coaching staff have also made that very clear.
“Perhaps mentally we were not at the races, but if we return to the way we were playing at the start of the season, it is a good opportunity for us against Harlequins.
“There’s no difference to how we will approach the game, it’s all about performance and also attitude. We need to approach the game with the right focus, it will be a big test and we need to turn up.
“We need to have some real character because the Stoop is always a difficult place to go and with what has happened for Harlequins in the last few weeks as well, they will also be desperate to win the game.”
With the season kicking off a month later than normal due to the World Cup, Slater admits the gruelling schedule of Aviva Premiership Rugby games is starting to take its toll on the Leicester squad.
The Tigers have been stretched in recent weeks but Slater is hopefully is own personal injury problems are finally behind him and he can now make a big contribution in the final weeks of the season.
“There’s no real rest time, no weeks off and so it is very tough this season,” he added. “Like many squads we have been a little stretched and suffered some injuries.
“For me personally I have been in and out with injury problems but I’m hoping those problems are now firmly behind me. I want to put together a real sequence of games now and keep fighting for my place.”