Mallinder ‘Saints owe supporters a big performance’

KEEN TO PUT THINGS RIGHT - Saints coach Jim Mallinder (Picture: Linda Dawson)
KEEN TO PUT THINGS RIGHT - Saints coach Jim Mallinder (Picture: Linda Dawson)

Jim Mallinder says Saints owe their fans a big performance at Sixways on Saturday.

And he is using the club’s famous Heineken Cup win at Ulster back in December as inspiration.

Northampton slumped to a 27-11 defeat to Premiership top-four rivals Gloucester at Franklin’s Gardens last weekend, their fifth defeat in 12 home games this season.

It left the home fans heading for the exits with less than 10 minutes to go and a rumble of discontent at the final whistle.

Similar scenes unfolded when Saints lost 25-6 to Ulster at the Gardens in early December, but they turned that result on its head a week later, with a 10-9 victory in Belfast.

And Mallinder says similar spirit has been shown in training this week as he team bid to get their fans back on side.

“The last time we played as poorly as we did last weekend was against Ulster, and a week later we turned that around to win at Ravenhill,” said the Saints boss.

“There is nothing to say that we can’t do that again, and the attitude and commitment in training this week has been similar to that period in December.

“We owe ourselves a good performance, as well as the supporters who will be travelling to Sixways.”

But Worcester will be just as keen to put on a show in front of their fans, having been thrashed 32-9 by Bath last weekend.

And Mallinder knows Saints could be on the end of a Warriors backlash.

“Worcester are a very dangerous team when they are allowed to play,” he said.

“We saw that first hand in the last 20 minutes here at Franklin’s Gardens earlier in the season and against Leicester and Saracens they played some good rugby.

“Results may have not gone their way in some matches this season, but every team that has beaten Worcester has had to play well to do so.

“The Warriors will know that they underperformed against Bath last weekend and will be wanting to put things right in front of their own supporters.”