Kieran Brookes says that the Saints squad owe the club’s supporters as well as the players themselves a good performance this Saturday afternoon.
After a positive pre-season that included four wins from four matches the Saints came back to earth with a bump at Twickenham last weekend in the Aviva Premiership’s opening round.
The 55 points conceded was the second highest total in the club’s Aviva Premiership history, and while three converted tries brought some respectability to the final scoreline Brookes says that everyone involved at Franklin’s Gardens has come to work this week determined to get the campaign up and running against Leicester this Saturday.
“We owe the supporters a performance, and we owe ourselves a performance,” he said. “No one was proud of how we played so it’s time to set it right.
“It was completely away from how we want to play the game, in attack, in defence, everything we talk about. We didn’t bring it, so there was a massive sense of disappointment among the lads in the club this week.
“Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were pretty brutal and intense in training and everybody’s out to show what we’re about, and not the display that we showed last Saturday.
“No one was happy about what happened last weekend, coaches, players or fans, but we have to draw a line under it, learn from the mistakes that we made and try to rectify them for this weekend.”
In the aftermath of the Twickenham result it is easy to forget that the Saints have had a good set of results at Franklin’s Gardens – where they have lost just the once since early December 2016 – and put 50 points on Ulster last time out at home a fortnight ago.
And with the added motivation brought about by derby day Brookes is excited by the prospect of getting back into action on Saturday.
“It’s massive for both places, which go wild for it,” he added. “We’ll run out this weekend and to have 15,000 supporters getting behind us will be massive. The lads come into the club talking about how exciting it is to have a big local derby as our first home game and it’ll be huge.”
A limited number of group tickets are available for Saints v Leicester in Blocks 9 Lower, 10 Lower, 15, 23, 25, 28, 29 and 30.
Book now at www.northamptonsaints.co.uk/buytickets and use Print@Home to beat the match day queues.
The Wanderers’ home match against Leicester (KO 7:00pm) is also included in the match ticket.