Anglesea - Changes a distraction
New Sale coach Pete Anglesea admitted the recent turmoil at the club affected his players as they slumped to a crushing 54-21 defeat to Leicester at Welford Road on Monday.
The defeat marked a disappointing start for Sale's new coaching team led by former captain Anglesea, who replaced Mike Brewer - sacked just before Christmas.
"My job starts here," Anglesea said. "This was a benchmark for me to see the state of our position."
He added: "We have got to get some confidence in our team. Welford Road is a very hard place to find confidence and it was very frustrating watching the boys out there.
"Obviously in the first 20 minutes they seemed to be affected by the off-field matters and heads went down.
"However we scored three nice tries and some of the senior players will have to take on more responsibility as it is a mammoth task and I would urge all supporters to get behind the team."
Leicester coach Richard Cockerill was not entirely satisfied with his side's display, admitting he was disappointed his side had allowed Sale to cross three times.
Cockerill said: "It is a difficult time of year and with them losing their coach we didn't know what to expect from them.
"It was a big start from us with three tries but we went somewhat off the boil from there.
"We are delighted with the five-point win, the boys took their scoring opportunities, but conceding three tries was not great."