Saints boss Mallinder understands fans’ frustrations

Jim Mallinder admits he can understand the frustration of the Saints fans.

By Tom Vickers
Friday, 25th January 2013, 6:00 am

But he says the club’s management team are working hard to get the best out of their charges.

There have been grumblings of discontent at Franklin’s Gardens of late after a tough run of home games saw the club suffer on their own turf.

Last week, forwards coach Dorian West admitted the club’s supporters ‘sometimes make it hard’ for the team.

But Mallinder says the Saints supporters, who have not witnessed their team scoring a try in any of the past three home games, have a right to expect entertainment.

And he is hoping his team can provide it when Gloucester come calling in the LV= Cup on Saturday.

“People are always going to say things and whether that’s positive or negative, it’s part of the job,” said Mallinder.

“We’re in an entertainment business and people pay good money to watch us. They’ve got a right to talk about what they want.

“Particularly in Northampton, we’re a big club. People like to talk about what’s happening down at the Saints and whether that’s positive or negative, it’s always going to go on.

“What we’ve got to be concerned about is our job and our job is preparing the players during the week, making sure those players when they go out do their very best.

“At the moment, we’re working very hard at that.”

The frustration of the Saints faithful was compounded last weekend as their side slipped out of Europe thanks to a 27-20 defeat at Glasgow.

But Northampton still have high hopes in the LV= Cup, in which they top their pool, and the Premiership, in which they currently sit fifth.

And Mallinder wants his men to start to gather some momentum ahead of a key sequence of games.

“We didn’t play badly last weekend,” he said. “We scored three tries up there, where a lot of teams haven’t done that.

“We should have done better, having looked at our opportunities. We should have taken more of the opportunities and we should have won the game.

“We need to keep working hard and we need to see if we can, over the next two weeks in the LV= Cup, really gain some momentum again because it will be the same group of players who will go into that game against Gloucester in the league (on February 9).

“We’ve got an important run of fixtures and it will be a good challenge.”