Saints skipper Dylan Hartley has been named Aviva Premiership player of the month for September.
The hooker enjoyed a superb start to the season, scoring two tries in the first two games as Northampton impressed.
They went on to win their next three games with Hartley in charge, making it a September to remember.
And the captain’s importance to his side was illustrated last weekend as Saints slumped to a 39-17 defeat, with Hartley missing the game at London Irish due to a fractured eye socket.
“It’s always frustrating because as a player you want to contribute, help out and watching on I was as frustrated as the fans,” said the England star, who will return to the team for Sunday’s Heineken Cup clash with Glasgow Warriors.
“I think you’ll see a reaction this week. It’s not what we’re about and our pride’s taken a bit of a dent so intensity levels have gone up this week.”