Richard Cockerill: Leicester Tigers boss admits to 'tough' season
Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill has said the Tigers deserve their top-four place, despite admitting to a "tough" season for the club.
Leicester moved into the play-off spots with two games left to play with victory over relegated London Welsh.
The result left them one point ahead of fifth-placed Exeter and a further two points clear of Wasps in sixth.
"The table doesn't lie. We're fourth because we deserve to be fourth," Cockerill told BBC Radio Leicester.
"We've had a tough season, there's no getting away from that.
"But if you look at some of the other sides that should be in and around the top six, who have had less issues than us to deal with, some of those sides won't make Europe.
"We're already qualified for Europe and we're in the top four with two games to go - and I've said the whole season it's about where we sit after Round 22 that's important."
Leicester have not missed out on the play-offs since 2004 and the club reached nine consecutive Premiership finals from 2004 until 2013.
But Cotterill said teams can no longer hope to be able to maintain that level of success for such a prolonged period.
"I think the landscape of the game's changing," he added.
"I think the domination of one side is gone forever with the salary cap."