Saints boss Mallinder: We are just as frustrated as the fans

NOT HAPPY - Saints boss Jim Mallinder watches his side lose to Harlequins last weekend (Picture: Linda Dawson)
NOT HAPPY - Saints boss Jim Mallinder watches his side lose to Harlequins last weekend (Picture: Linda Dawson)

Jim Mallinder says he can fully understand the frustrations of the Saints supporters.

And the director of rugby insists the Northampton players and management are hurting just as much after the run of four successive defeats.

Mallinder is determined to put a smile on the fans’ faces by ending the winless streak tomorrow (Sunday), when Saints head to Newport-Gwent Dragons in the LV= Cup.

And he believes his men can take plenty of positives from the way they played in the 31-30 defeat to Harlequins at Franklin’s Gardens last weekend.

Mallinder said: “We understand people get frustrated and we do because we’re not winning games and we’re not playing as well as we want to play.

“But there are positives and we’ll keep working on those.

“The scrum went really well last weekend and Luther Burrell, coming in, played really well. We need to add to that and get that functioning and there’s no reason why it can’t.”

But Mallinder is well aware that there are a plethora of things his side still need to work on.

Saints gifted Quins three first-half scores last weekend and though they came back from 21-6 down to lead 30-24, it proved a bridge too far as Ben Botica’s late try and conversion saw the Premiership champions claim the win.

And Mallinder knows similar sloppiness must not be repeated if Northampton are to slay the Dragons at Rodney Parade.

“For us it’s a question of getting back to winning ways and to do that you’ve got to play well,” he said.

“Last week we contributed to losing the game. We added a lot to the game in terms of some of our attacking play and generally we defended well but if you give the opposition 21 points it’s always going to be a struggle and so it proved at the end.

“This weekend we need to use our combinations well, we need to keep giving players experience but we also need to get the players who’ve been off playing as well. We need those match fit.

“We need a win this weekend and we need to take that into the next few weeks.”