Leicester boss Richard Cockerill was left with mixed feelings after the Tigers fought back for a 32-30 win over Sale on Saturday.
The Tigers looked to be out of it when they trailed 30-15 just before the hour-mark, but a converted try from Miles Benjamin gave them hope.
Owen Williams added a penalty with eight minutes remaining before a last-gasp converted try from Julian Salvi secured an unlikely bonus-point win.
And while Cockerill was understandably pleased with the maximum points that put Leicester just two points behind fourth-placed Exeter, the Tigers boss knows his team can’t afford to be so slack in defence going forward.
“I was disappointed with how we started the game, disappointed with how we defended and then we got ourselves back in the game. We were just too easy to score against,” said Cockerill.
“At half-time I knew we had the ability to get back into the game. At 30-15 the message was to keep playing because if we scored next we would put them under pressure, but our ability to get ourselves into a deep hole was remarkable.
“Credit to the players they played themselves out of the hole and they got themselves into a position to win the game.
“Credit to Sale as well, they played exceptionally well. They took advantage of our limpness in defence and credit to Leicester for working it out and getting themselves back into the game to give them a chance to win it.”