Mallinder says Saints can’t afford to look too far ahead

KEEPING HIS FEET ON THE GROUND - Saints coach Jim Mallinder (Picture: Linda Dawson)

KEEPING HIS FEET ON THE GROUND - Saints coach Jim Mallinder (Picture: Linda Dawson)

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Jim Mallinder has urged Saints not too look too far ahead as they pursue a piece of major silverware.

Mallinder’s men are currently top of the Aviva Premiership, with just six games of the season remaining.

But they face an tricky run of games, with a trip to Sale followed by clashes with fierce rivals Leicester Tigers and Saracens.

They also have an Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final at Sale to look forward to on April 3 as they bid to end a four-year wait for a trophy.

But Mallinder, who saw his side suffer a 15-8 defeat to Exeter Chiefs in last Sunday’s LV= Cup final, is refusing to look too far ahead.

“The first thing is that we’ve got to get there (to the latter stages of competitions),” he said.

“You can’t look too far ahead and we can’t start thinking about playing at Twickenham in an Aviva final.

“It’s about how we get there, and that’s what we’re focusing on.

“Once you do get there, you probably need a little bit of luck and we probably haven’t had that.

“You go back to the Heineken Cup final (in 2011) and we played brilliantly for 40 minutes, but then Leinster played brilliantly in the second 40.

“We know what happened in the Premiership final last year and sometimes there are things you can’t quite control.

“We’re confident we’ve got a strong squad and we can win things, but we’re taking it day by day and concentrating on the things we can control.”