Forwards coach Carl Hogg says Gloucester didn’t want to show their full hand in the LV= Cup clash with Saints on Saturday.
The Cherry and Whites went down to a 26-7 defeat at Franklin’s Gardens after an uninspiring performance.
They were missing a host of first-team regulars, instead giving their fringe players and those returning from injury a chance to shine.
But they were unable to truly trouble Saints and will hope for better when the two sides renew rivalries in the Premiership in two weeks’ time.
Hogg felt it was important that some of his side’s key men were kept back, with a view to winning on their next visit to the Gardens.
Gloucester coach Carl Hogg said: “For us It’s a week closer to that Premiership game here and we’ll probably play close to our Premiership combinations in that Bath game (next weekend) with a view to two weeks’ time coming back to Franklin’s Gardens.
“It’s sometimes difficult because what you don’t want to do is show your full hand. You don’t want to show all the things you might run in the Premiership.
“Today was always about giving opportunities to young guys and returning players and we’re mindful of the fact in two weeks’ time we’ve got to come back here.”
But Hogg didn’t feel Gloucester were hindered in any way by the team they picked.
Instead, he feels the fact they gave some players much-needed game time will stand the side in good stead for the rest of the season.
“Professional players need to play the game and sometimes they don’t get the exposure they would like,” said Hogg.
“(Gloucester boss) Nigel Davies is very trusting and confident in the players we’ve got and we do expose a lot of players to LV= Cup level or even Premiership level. That engenders a real good feelgood factor in the squad.
“There’s no back-up group and hopefully come the end of the season that will stand us in good stead.”