Jim Mallinder says Saints’ superb 21-13 win at Bath was one of their best of the season so far.
Tries from James Wilson and Mike Haywood, plus 11 points from the boot of Stephen Myler, sent Mallinder’s men nine points clear at the Aviva Premiership summit.
Bath remain their nearest rivals, but Mike Ford’s men remain without a win against Saints since February, 2011.
And Mallinder was delighted with the display of his side, who even managed to stop Bath scoring during a final eight minutes played with 14 men after George Pisi’s sin-binning.
“It’s one of our best performances of the season,” said the Saints boss. “Leicester at home in December was a very good one, but to come down here and win was very pleasing.
“Both teams had players out and they were unbeaten at home in the league, so close to us in the table.
“This was always going to be a big game but apart from the first few minutes we played well.
“We put them under pressure, played some lovely rugby, particularly in the first half.
“Second half, we didn’t play quite as much as we wanted to, but we kept our discipline and Stephen Myler kicked his goals at the right time.
“It was a great win for us.”