With 2016/17 proving a season of highs and lows, Jim Mallinder says it is imperative the Saints stay tight as a group in the wake of a humbling Champions Cup defeat to Castres.
“The message is that we’ve got to stick together,” Mallinder told SaintsTV. “It’s easy to point the finger at someone else, but you’ve got to look at your own job and I think that everybody, from top to bottom, has got to do that. We’ve had a really inconsistent season, with some good performances but also some lows and it’s been a pretty poor one today.
“We need to re-group quickly with the short turnaround, get better and make sure that on Friday we are firing.”
Trailing 6-0 after a quarter and a man up following Rory Kockott’s yellow card, Mallinder’s side wasted a golden period of pressure inside the home 22 and were duly put to the sword at Stade Pierre Antoine.
Castres went on to rack up five tries in total, punishing a string of errors from the Saints for which Mallinder said there was no excuse.
“Coming down to France is always difficult and we didn't play well at all. We lacked accuracy, we lacked spirit and we should have controlled the game a lot more.
“We elected to play into the wind but we couldn't keep hold of the ball, our set piece wasn't brilliant so we never really got onto the front foot and they're a good side. They took all of their opportunities.”