Louis Deacon urges Leicester Tigers to put a stop to slow starts
Lock-forward Louis Deacon is demanding that Leicester Tigers put a rapid end to the slow starts that have "become a habit" in recent weeks.
Leicester were 7-0 down within a minute at Gloucester on Saturday after a sloppy start to the game.
It followed on from the previous week when Tigers suffered a 10-0 deficit to the Ospreys within 20 minutes.
Tigers started well in Toulouse a week before that but, at the start of the month, Sale opened the scoring with a try after five minutes at the Salford City Stadium.
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At Sale and against the Ospreys, Tigers recovered well from their poor starts.
But Gloucester was a different story and Tigers could find no way back from early deficits of 10-3 and 17-8, despite yet another storming finish.
"We have a habit of beginning slowly and that makes it difficult to get back into the game," said Deacon, after his first start since returning from long-term injury.
"Gloucester were really keen and up for the game, and proved that we just cannot afford to make starts like that.
"It's frustrating because we speak about those things and nod in agreement – and then it doesn't happen.
"It's something that has got to change.
"It's a habit that we have got into and we need to get out of it because we do finish strongly.
"We probably always think, subconsciously, that we can come back into the game.
"But against the good teams, that is very difficult, as Gloucester proved. It's a mind-set thing that we need to change – and change quickly."
Deacon was personally satisfied with his first 80-minute outing after hamstring and shoulder operations kept him sidelined for much of the calendar year.
As a born-and-bred Leicester lad, he is relishing Saturday's derby against Northampton.
"I could hardly get up the stairs after the game at Gloucester, but it was good to get out there," said the 32-year-old.
"It's all about playing regularly now and I have been working hard with the conditioning guys and been slogging away.
"But nothing compares to match-fitness.
"The games don't get any easier and, traditionally, our matches with Northampton have been very feisty games.
"This weekend will be no different and it will be a challenge that everyone will rise to, especially with our England guys away."