Saints must maintain 'resilience and composure' in clash with Wasps
Alex Coles knows Saints will need plenty more 'resilience and composure' when they travel to Wasps on Sunday afternoon.
Chris Boyd's side have won their opening three Premiership games for only the fourth time in the club's history, but they have certainly not had it all their own way.
They beat Gloucester on the opening day before edging past Exeter Chiefs and London Irish.
And Saints have shown that they can tough it out late on to get results.
Talented young lock Coles, who came into the starting 15 at late notice last Saturday due to David Ribbans' illness, was happy to get the job done in a 23-21 win against Irish.
But he knows they will need to step things up if they are to beat a Wasps side who thrashed Bristol Bears 44-8 in their only home encounter so far this season.
"We saw how Wasps played against Bristol and they tore them apart so they're a great side," Coles said.
"It's going to be tight all season and one of the big things we've been working on is resilience and composure in those tough situations.
"We're a young group but we can't be showing that naivety any more - we need to grow up and show we can manage those games and get the result.
"The game last Saturday was one that may have gone the other way a couple of years ago so it's a positive that when we're not playing well we can be resolute and find a way to get an outcome."
But Coles is well aware of the fact that performances like the one Saints turned in last Saturday may not be good enough to earn victories in the weeks and months ahead.
He added: "We have to separate the outcome and the performance, and the outcome is that we're three from three in the Premiership, but the performance was really quite poor.
"We know it's not good enough but it makes those tough conversations a bit easier if we come away with a win and the fans go home happier than if we'd taken a loss.
"We've got a lot of things to improve on.
"It was poor, we had ill discipline that let them back in, from me as well, and it's something we know needs to improve as soon as possible.
"There we some silly penalties that we gave away so we're all taking a look at ourselves."