Tigers clash will bring the best out of Saints, says boss Mallinder

CONFIDENT - Saints boss Jim Mallinder (Picture: Linda Dawson)

CONFIDENT - Saints boss Jim Mallinder (Picture: Linda Dawson)

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Jim Mallinder says Saturday’s east midlands derby will bring the best out of everyone at Saints.

Mallinder’s men go into the game on the back of two successive defeats, against Exeter in the LV= Cup final and Sale in the Aviva Premiership.

In contrast, Tigers, who have not lost to Saints since September, 2010, head to Franklin’s Gardens in buoyant mood, after dispatching Exeter 45-15 at Welford Road on Sunday.

But Mallinder is certain his men will respond and feels a showdown with the old enemy will ensure Saints up their game this weekend.

“It will bring the best out of everyone this week,” said the Saints boss.

“We are disappointed about last weekend’s result, but we have to put it behind us and work hard at gelling as team. That’s the secret for us. If we do that then we have the players to win next week.”

One positive for Saints from the 19-6 defeat at Sale was the performance of fly-half Will Hooley.

The 20-year-old came into the team at late notice following Stephen Myler’s withdrawal and did an admirable job in tricky conditions.

And Mallinder said: “Will Hooley had a very good game to be fair to him. He’s a young lad and it was his first Premiership start at 10.

“It was a big ask for him and Sale were good. They showed very good linespeed, tackled very well and got into our maul.”