Steve Borthwick has seen signs of progress from Leicester Tigers since his arrival as head coach, but says there is much more work to do to end a “period of decline” for the club.
Tigers are certain to finish 11th in this season’s Premiership table, with only Saracens – docked 105 points for breaking salary cap rules – below them.
They have won two of their eight league games since Borthwick joined in July.
“What we are doing is rebuilding, almost completely,” he said.
Borthwick, who left his role in the England coaching setup to link up with Tigers, told BBC Radio Leicester: “Where have Leicester been? At the bottom of the table.
“You don’t just end up in that position. That is a period of decline that is longer than two years. For a period of time, several years, there has been a period of decline, and we are trying to arrest that.
“Part of that is building a squad. Part of it is recruitment, and then once you have the players, you have to try to get them to understand each other and build combinations together. What we’ve tried to do is build and test different combinations.
“This hasn’t just come about, Leicester didn’t just get there. Am I clear about the journey we’re on, the priorities we have? Yes. Does that happen overnight? No. We’ve got lots of work to do, and I know everyone here is invested in the role.”
He added: “This is a great club that has lost its way, and lost its way very, very badly. What we need to ensure is that we get it on the right path, and that is what we are trying to do each day.”
Leicester enjoyed a long spell among the English domestic game’s elite, winning four Premiership titles in seven seasons between 2007 and 2013.
But the 2016-17 campaign was the most recent occasion they reached a Premiership semi-final, and they will finish second from bottom of the league table for the second year in a row.
Tigers did reach the last four of the European Challenge Cup, but lost their semi-final to French club Toulon.
“I know much more about our players, and our strengths and weaknesses,” 40-year-old Borthwick added.
“As a coach you always want more progress. I think we’ve made strides in some areas, and in other areas we need to accelerate the growth.”