Time to stay grounded as Dowson's Saints prepare for derby-day battle at Tigers

Phil Dowson (photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)Phil Dowson (photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
Phil Dowson (photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
Phil Dowson has urged Saints to stay grounded ahead of Saturday's derby-day clash with Leicester Tigers at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.

The black, green and gold produced their most complete performance of the season so far last Sunday as they secured a bonus-point 34-19 success against Exeter Chiefs.

It was a third successive win for Saints in the Gallagher Premiership.

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But Dowson insists there is no time to get carried away with a huge test lying in wait at Leicester this weekend.

When asked what the mood in the camp is currently like, Dowson said: "Pretty good but we need to keep our feet on the floor and understand the challenge that awaits us.

"Leicester in a derby game at Welford Road is going to be full on and we've got to make sure we don't get too carried away.

"We've got to make sure we look after the fundamentals of our game and we understand where our game sits and what we need to do to get it on the pitch."

Dowson played in several East Midlands derbies for Saints.

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So what words of wisdom will he impart on his players this week?

"You've got to be aware of the intensity but it's all about us and how we can play and how we can perform," he said.

"We've got to make sure we're in the right mental space to play in games of that magnitude away from home."

Saints have started to develop an all-court style, which came to the fore against Exeter last weekend.

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And Dowson said: "It comes down to how hard they players have worked together over the past couple of years - it's not something that happens in a week's training.

"It's a long-term project from Chris (Boyd) to myself to all the coaching group with those messages being drip-fed in regularly, making sure that the players are learning from those experiences previously to put those lessons in place on a matchday.

"That maturity and that experience from some of those tough times we've had in the past is why we're playing so well at the weekend.

"We're a tight group, we've had some tough times and we've learned a lot of lessons."