A three-try, 17-13, win over Harlequins at Franklin’s Gardens consolidated the Saints’ first place in the league, with Samu Manoa, James Wilson and Tom Wood getting the scores that saw off the visitors.
But Saints could not turn a good late position into a fourth try, and while the defence withstood repeated attacks there was the relative disappointment of conceding a last-gasp try to Marland Yarde.
However Mallinder told SaintsTV that now was not the time to be peaking in a season.
“You certainly don’t want to be peaking now, three quarters of the way through,” he said. “You want to be peaking in those final games. We’re happy to be winning, but there are always points to work on and we’ll be working hard ahead of a tough game against Gloucester next week.
“Nobody will remember that we were leading by a number of points with a few games to go if we don’t go on and make a home semi-final. We’re in a very good position but we’re not getting carried away.
“Quins came here and tested us. They’ve got some very good players who are match winners. I thought we defended really well, although we were disappointed to concede right at the end. But generally we’re happy; we’d have loved a bonus point win but that doesn’t always happen.
“The main thing is that we’re winning, our defence was good and we took our opportunities in attack.”
And while Mallinder praised the squad effort, he also acknowledged the contribution that was added by returning internationals Courtney Lawes and Tom Wood, the former marking his 150th first team appearance with a man of the match performance and the latter going over for a try on his own 100th run out for the club.
“It’s a massive boost [to have them back],” Mallinder added. “The team’s been playing well without them, but when you’ve got players like those two it adds intensity and physicality. We’re really pleased they’re recovered from injury, and hopefully they can play next week for us as well.”
Watch the full interview at www.youtube.com/TheSaintsTV