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Page last updated at 07:24 GMT, Friday, 15 May 2009 08:24 UK

Croft driven by fear of failure

GUINNESS PREMIERSHIP FINAL
Venue: Twickenham Date: Saturday, 16 May Kick-off: 1730 BST
Coverage: Full match commentary on BBC Radio Leicester plus score updates on BBC Radio 5 Live and the BBC Sport website

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Croft is feeling confident ahead of Saturday's final

England forward Tom Croft says Leicester's season will feel like a failure if they do not win both the Premiership and Heineken Cup finals.

Tigers could clinch the first part of what, two months ago, seemed a highly unlikely double by beating London Irish at Twickenham on Saturday.

"Things are going very well," Croft told BBC Radio Leicester.

"But we haven't won anything yet and unless we win two trophies this year the boys will be very disappointed."

Tigers have won 11 of their last 12 games on their way to top spot in the Guinness Premiership and both major showpiece finals.

Tom Croft
If you give them any scraps they are a dangerous team. We have to make sure every part of our game is tight.
Tom Croft

But Croft says it will count for very little should they fall at the last hurdle.

He added: "Up until this point it has been successful - the way we have been playing and the characters who have emerged in the team - notably Sam Vesty who hadn't played that much before Christmas but is now vying for a Test place with England.

"But we have a lot of work to do yet."

And Croft, who is widely tipped to get a late call-up to the British and Irish Lions squad for the summer tour of South Africa, says Tigers must be wary of the threat posed by a revitalised London Irish side.

"We have a lot of respect for Irish," Croft said.

"They had a dip in the season but they are playing some expansive, fast-running rugby and are getting better week in, week out and this is the right time to be improving your game.

"If you give them any scraps they are a dangerous team. We have been playing well but if we get complacent then we could slip up.

"We have to make sure every part of our game is tight. We can't say we are going to win just because we have been winning, we have to do it on the day.

"But if we play to our potential we can win the double."

Head coach Richard Cockerill brushed off suggestions that his side will be jaded come Saturday's match.

Cockerill dismisses talk of tired legs

Tigers have been in top form in the latter stages of the season but have had to dig deep to come through some exhausting matches, including the thrilling penalty shootout win over Cardiff Blues in the Heineken Cup semi-final.

Cockerill told BBC East Midlands Today: "Our conditioning is great and our players are still hungry. It's all in the mind and our minds are fresh and the bodies will follow.

"This is the what you play the game for.

"There are 10 teams on holiday at the moment and two left in it and we would rather be in this position.

"They will want to play, we will want to play and hopefully it won't be too cagey and the teams will show what they can do.

"Personally it's nice but we have to win it. If we don't get the result then it counts for nothing.

"I have a few loser's medals at home that I wouldn't want to show many people."

Chuter upbeat over Tigers' double bid

Tigers have reached nine major finals in the past five seasons but have lost seven of them and hooker George Chuter says the fear of losing a final is driving him on to success.

"It's not a great stat to have on your CV," Chuter told BBC East Midlands Today.

"I don't think there's anything worse than losing a final. You have worked hard to get to the final and to end up losing is pretty grim.

"We are keen to avoid that feeling in the next couple of weeks."



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