Goode times ahead for Tigers
Andy Goode is confident Leicester can complete their turnaround in form in Saturday's Guinness Premiership final.
Last Updated: 28/05/08 11:32am
Andy Goode is confident Leicester Tigers can complete their turnaround in form in Saturday's Guinness Premiership final against Wasps at Twickenham.
The Tigers looked set to miss out on the play-offs before a late run, which included a dramatic last-gasp victory over Harlequins on the final day of the regular season, saw them earn the final spot in the post-season.
That was followed by another comeback in last Sunday's semi-final at Gloucester when Goode's 79th-minute drop-goal clinched a 26-25 success.
And the maverick fly-half is confident there is one more big performance left in a side that was written off in most quarters earlier in the season.
"We all sat down as players and said 'people are writing us off, are own coaches are writing us off'," Goode admitted to Sky Sports News.
"It's about the pride in the shirt and in each others performances - Leicester has been built on that over the years.
"Peter Tom (chairman) and Peter Wheeler (chief executive) came down to speak to us and when those guys are coming down to the training ground you don't want to be playing badly."
Goode's team-mate Tom Varndell is another who believes the squad has been galvanised by some of the criticism they received.
"We've a lot of self-belief and have pulled together as a team," said the winger.
"We've had a lot of criticism from people outside the club and it's been good for us and has spurred us on. We are in a good position now."
Wasps provide the opposition on Saturday, a team Leicester have shared several epic encounters with in recent years.
Perhaps the most memorable was the Premiership final of 2004 when Wasps triumphed 39-14 to ruin Leicester legend Martin Johnson's farewell.
And the Tigers have the opportunity to return the favour as Saturday will be the final appearance in the decorated career of Wasps stalwart Lawrence Dallaglio.
"Once the whistle goes then all of that (previous encounters against Wasps) is just emotional baggage, everyone will be going out to win the game," said Tigers flanker Martin Corry.
"They've always been classic encounters and I hope this is going to be another one."