Northampton Saints coach Jim Mallinder is still confident that his team can secure a spot among the top four in the Aviva Premiership, following a competent performance against the Leicester Tigers at the weekend.
Saints, playing away from home, recorded a 30-27 defeat during a thrilling contest at Welford Road. What the result means is that the Saints are now seven points behind Leicester, after the first nine rounds of rugby. The critical word, despite the current circumstances appearing rather grave, is belief.
"Saturday was up there as one of our best (attacking performances)," said Mallinder of his team's performance at the weekend.
"We've had some disappointments, but we've also had some good performances. People forget that we drew with Racing, who are a fantastic team, and we beat Exeter," added the Saints boss.
“We've put in some really good performances and some poor ones as well.
"It's disappointing because Leicester get another four points and push away from us a little bit, but we're not over halfway and we're still determined to claw back that top-four spot."