Wood: Time for us to kick on
Thursday, December 29, 2016
Victory over Sale last Friday evening ensured the Saints' 2016 ended on a positive note, but Tom Wood says the squad realise there is still plenty of work to be done heading into the New Year.
Kingsholm is their destination for a first outing of 2017 and the mid-point of a crucial block of Aviva Premiership games, according to the skipper.
"These three weeks are a big challenge for us," Wood told SaintsTV. "It's three games that we've really got to target and if we can win those and take a minumum of 12 points, then we've got a real chance of being back in the business end [of the table].
"I think you've got to enjoy your wins and things like Alex reaching 200 games - that's a big deal - the run up to Christmas and sending everyone off with smiles on their faces having enjoyed it. It was a good night at the office and we did that, but you also have to have a bit of a reality check as to where we still are in the league. One win papers over the cracks, but it doesn't fix the season.
"We've still got a lot of work ahead of us and these next few weeks are really important"
Next up comes a Gloucester side that may have succumbed to Quins at Twickenham last time out, but who also head into the game with the momentum of a fighting comeback in that game.
"It was a bit of a warning shot from Gloucester as to how dangerous they can be," Wood added. "They came back into the game to make a real fist of it and could arguably have won it at the end there, so it's important that we don't give their strike runners - the likes of May, Sharples, Hook - any encouragement because they can cut you from anywhere.
"If they get the home crowd behind them and play some exciting rugby, they can put us under a lot of pressure, so it's important for us that we challenge them after their short turnaround and really put some heat on them and get them questioning whether they really want to be there or not."