WORCESTER Warriors' head coach Jonathan Thomas was in an upbeat mood despite seeing his side slip to an agonising 17-18 Gallagher Premiership defeat to Leicester Tigers at Sixways on Saturday afternoon.

It was the 17th straight league defeat, 19 in all competitions, as the home side surrendered a 14-6 half-time lead to eventually lose by a solitary point, thanks, in the main, to Tigers' prop Ellis genge, who scored both his side's tries.

3000 fans watched on in the sunshine as the two teams produced an engaging contest that ended with the visitors taking four points back home and Worcester earning another losing bonus-point.

Thomas believes that such a young squad are going to learn valuable lessons from this tortuous losing campaign.

"It's a bloody young squad," he said.

"What I would say is that I really understand the supporters. We are all frustrated and there is no hiding behind that, there are no excuses but I would be really excited if i was a supporter because the performances of some of these young guys, a lot of them could be here for a long time.

"With recruitment that we have made, it's exciting the direction we are going.

"These games you learn a lot, there is huge growth opportunities but the boys worked terrifically well.

"It's been seven or eight games where we have not quite got over the line so you just need experience and leadership and it's terrific for these young guys to gain that in these tight games and they will learn.

"Next year we will win these games."

On the topic of young stars, captain Ted Hill was fantastic for the hosts and deservedly made a statement to the England selectors and head coach Eddie Jones.

When asked if Hill should be in the England squad for the summer tour, Thomas responded: "Without a shadow of a doubt.

"Ted has been phenomenal, for such a young man, the maturity shown in such difficult circumstances.

"I can't speak highly enough of him but he was fantastic today, so physical, really dominated the ball on all aspects. If i was the coach, I would deinftely include him.

The final word was on the supporters, who returned for the first time since last December and Thomas admitted they "made such a difference".

"I said to the players pre-match that the game would be about fronting up," he said.

"We knew it was going to be a tough challenge but this is our home, this is our house and I thought the support was was fantastic.

"The soul of the game is the supporters and it was great to have them back, they made such a difference.

"But now we have to park it, move on, and go again next week. It will turn."