Dorian West believes the recent turbulent times at Leicester will pull the Tigers together at Franklin’s Gardens today (ko 3pm).
But he insists Saints will be up for the fight against their local rivals in what is a huge battle in the bid to make the Aviva Premiership top four.
Earlier this week, Leicester announced that interim boss Aaron Mauger, who took charge after Richard Cockerill’s sacking in January, will be leaving the club after this afternoon’s game.
Matt O’Connor will become Tigers’ full-time boss in early April, but the decision to axe Mauger, who steered the club to Anglo-Welsh Cup glory on Sunday, was not popular with the Leicester players, some of whom voiced their disappointment on social media.
West knows the Tigers team will now be eager to give Mauger a big send-off in this weekend’s east midlands derby.
And the Saints forwards coach said: “I think it could pull them together a little bit.
“We’re expecting them to put in a performance for him.
“You read some of the comments that have been made and I think he’s well thought of at Leicester and I’m sure the players will be giving it everything they can for him.”
But with sixth-placed Saints just three points behind fifth-placed Tigers in the Premiership table, West added: “It’s a big game and we have to concentrate on ourselves.
“We know it’s a big game and we need to make sure we get everything we’re doing right, making sure we’ve got as many people available as possible and it’s about us.
“They (east midlands derbies) are always pretty tense, interesting affairs.
“There’s a bit more to play for this year with three points between us, and the top four we’re chasing for, so it’s going to be full on.
“A lot of the games come down to fine margins these days, particularly between us two teams.
“We need to cut out some of the mistakes we’ve made and put in a good performance.”