Tom Wood says it would be an ‘absolute tragedy’ if Saints miss out on the top six this season.
Jim Mallinder’s men saw their top-four hopes shattered by Leicester Tigers, who claimed a 30-24 win at Franklin’s Gardens on Saturday.
And now fifth-placed Saints’ focus will be holding on to Champions Cup qualification next season, with Harlequins and Sale Sharks breathing down their neck.
Quins are currently two points behind with two games to go, while Sale are just one point adrift with a game in hand.
And Wood knows Saints must use the weekend they have off to get back on track for the visit of Bath on April 30 and the final-day game at Gloucester a week later.
“We’ll have to be accountable and wear the loss (to Leicester) and the disappointing season,” Wood said.
“We’ll have to get over it pretty quickly because there’s a real danger of the wheels falling off and not making the top six, which would be an absolute tragedy for this club and a huge underachievement.
“We’ve got a week’s rest now and we’ve got to sort ourselves out.
“We’ll be hurting but we’ll down tools, get some rest and make sure we’re ready, physically and mentally, for those next big games.
“It’s really important that we finish the season on a high. We owe ourselves that and we owe our fans that.
“We want to guarantee that top-flight European rugby for next year as well.”