Jim Mallinder says victory at Wasps on Saturday was massive for Saints as they prepare for a mouthwatering home double-header.
Bath and Harlequins come to Franklin’s Gardens in the next two weeks as Northampton aim to finish 2013 on a high and start 2014 with a bang.
Mallinder’s men currently sit second in the Aviva Premiership standings after the nail-biting 17-15 success at Adams Park.
And the director of rugby knows the four points gained against Dai Young’s men were crucial ahead of games against top-four rivals.
“This (the Premiership) is our bread and butter and we know how tough it is to go down to Adams Park,” he said. “We always find it hard.
“We’ve had a few good wins there. Last season we won in the last play, driving them over, but it was right at the death. We knew how hard it was going to be.
“You only had to look at Wasps’ results and how close they’ve come to wins. They’ve not won every game this season but they’re very, very competitive in most of their games.
“We’re pleased at getting the win away from home. It’s massive for us. It sets us up now because we’ve got Bath and Harlequins at home and we’re in a good position.”
Mallinder opted to put England trio Dylan Hartley, Courtney Lawes and Lee Dickson on the bench for the Wasps game, bringing them into the action during the second half.
And the Saints boss admits it was a move to keep England head coach Stuart Lancaster sweet.
“What Stuart Lancaster would look to do if we weren’t swapping over our squad would be to ask to have them rested so we’re just working with Stuart and he’s very happy with how we’ve been managing our players throughout the season,” said Mallinder.
“They’ve not played in every single game and they can’t do.
“It was a good one for us to swap things around a little bit and really nice that we can have those lads coming off the bench.”