Saints sticking together as they seek to end losing streak

The Saints coaches have received some criticism after recent performances (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
The Saints coaches have received some criticism after recent performances (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Jim Mallinder says sticking together is key for Saints as they bid to end their five-match losing streak.

The players and coaches have come in for some criticism from supporters after defeats to Gloucester, Saracens, Clermont Auvergne, Wasps and Exeter.

Saints had won four games in a row in September, but they lost all of their matches in October and started this month with a 43-28 Anglo-Welsh Cup defeat at Exeter last Saturday.

Mallinder's men will look to get back on track by beating the Dragons at Franklin's Gardens this evening (kick-off 5.15pm).

And the director of rugby said: "We are in a bit of a bubble here and we can't dictate or change the way people perceive us or the way people talk about us - that's happening out there.

"What we can do is concentrate on our performance and we stick closely together and we work as a team, so that's coaches, S&C (strength and conditioning) and also the players.

"We work hard together to make sure we stick together and look to improve all the time."

Saints were hugely impressive when beating Leicester and Bath at the Gardens back in September.

But they have struggled to match those performance levels since.

"Those wins showed what we can do when we play well and we get our act together," Mallinder said.

"It is disappointing to see the difference in performance and the inconsistencies, but that's what we're really striving towards achieving.

"It's probably not about getting new ideas, sometimes it's new emphasis on the way we're doing things.

"Particularly with something like defence, you've got to look at different ways of defending.

"Even though we set our principles out at the beginning of the season, sometimes you've got to put more emphasis on certain other areas."