Dorian West is refusing to write off Saints’ chances of making the Heineken Cup quarter-finals – despite last weekend’s big defeat to Leinster.
Northampton were beaten 40-7 at Franklin’s Gardens as the Irish side, who scored six tries, moved eight points clear of Jim Mallinder’s men at the top of Pool 1.
Saints head to the Aviva Stadium for the return date on Saturday (kick-off 6pm) hoping to restore some pride by claiming a win that would keep them in the competition.
And West is adamant they have not given up on making the last eight.
“It’s never over until it’s over,” said the forwards coach. “It’s a tough ask but there’s always a chance of runner-up spots and qualifying for the Amlin Challenge Cup so we won’t give up.
“We’ll go to Leinster and try to give a good account of ourselves and win the game.
“We know Leinster have still got to go to Castres, which won’t be easy. We’ve been there and it’s never over till it’s over. Let’s see how we go.”
Director of rugby Mallinder admitted he was ‘embarrassed’ by last weekend’s display, while Tom Wood said he was ‘ashamed’.
West echoed those sentiments, but says Saints are doing everything in their power to produce a performance their supporters can be proud of this weekend.
“We can right the wrong, there’s no doubt about it,” he said. “If we play our best rugby and we get our best players on the pitch, we’re a match for anyone.
“We’ve worked hard this week. We know we let the fans down, we let ourselves down and we’ll be doing everything we can to put it right.”