Jim Mallinder says the Saints players have been given daily reminders of last season’s humiliation at London Irish as they bid to avoid a repeat performance tomorrow (Sunday, ko 2pm).
Northampton were outgunned in all departments last October as their five-match winning streak came crashing down in a 39-17 defeat to a fired-up Irish side.
It was a seminal 80 minutes for Saints, with Mallinder saying they had ‘embarrassed themselves’ and claiming they were not mentally right for the match.
Consequently, the director of rugby has taken every precaution to ensure his men don’t suffer another mad moment at the Madejski Stadium this weekend.
“The lads know what’s in store,” said Mallinder, who has steered Saints to four wins from their first six Premiership games this season.
“They’ve been reminded every single day since we won the Saracens game (last Saturday) about what’s in store and how tough it’s going to be.
“It’s down the the players. We can prepare them mentally, we can prepare them physically. We’ve had a really good training week, not many changes to last week so it’s a very similar team.
“We’re looking forward to it and it’s a good opportunity.”
And when asked to expand on the sort of reminders the Saints players have been given, Mallinder replied: “We look back and we look at the videos.
“The coaches have watched the game and come up with what we did well - there weren’t too many things - and, most important, what we didn’t do very well.
“Our game moves on and we were pleased with what we did about Saracens because we talked about our clarity in attack, we talked about defending accurately with discipline and all these things we’ve been working on we put into place. We need to continue those this week.”