Jim Mallinder says his Saints players must continue to ‘play on the edge’ at Welford Road this weekend.
But the director of rugby knows his side can ill afford any more disciplinary problems as they look to defeat local rivals Leicester Tigers.
Saints have not won at Welford Road since February 2007, when Mark Robinson’s magnificent individual effort earned a 10-9 win.
And they will have to go to Leicester on Saturday evening without Calum Clark and Kieran Brookes, who have both been hit with bans.
Flanker Clark was suspended for three weeks after striking with the elbow in the 18-17 win at Worcester Warriors on November 18.
And Brookes found himself in hot water after being sent off in last Friday’s 22-16 defeat to Newcastle Falcons at Franklin’s Gardens.
The prop was banned for two weeks for charging into a ruck, with Brookes having struck Falcons hooker Scott Lawson in the face.
Mallinder knows any repeat of that sort of indiscretion would be hugely costly this weekend.
And he said: “We got a citing after Worcester and a red card last week so we’ve lost two key players at a time when we don’t want to do that.
“We’ve already lost a number of senior players (to injury and international duty) so we need to make sure of our discipline.
“We need to play on the edge with real pride and passion this week, but we need to keep the right side.”