Mallinder wants three in a row

Date published: January 3 2017

Northampton are expecting to face a confident Bristol side at Franklin's Gardens on Saturday after the latter's win over Sale last week.

Saints boss Jim Mallinder knows Bristol will bring some momentum to the contest, but his own side will also be geared for the challenge after their narrow 13-12 victory over Gloucester.

Mallinder is still aiming for a Premiership play-off spot and knows how important a third win a row will be to his team's chances, but Bristol will have the same aim, having beaten Worcester and Sale during the past two weeks.

"We said it’s three massive games and we wanted to go to Gloucester and scrap for a win. You’ve got to do whatever you can to get a win down there," Mallinder told

"We’ve now got Bristol at home this week and they’ve won last Sunday so they’re going to be on a high. It’s going to be a tricky game, but we’ve got to look to target it.

"If we can get three wins out of this period then we’ll be moving up the league and in a much better position."

Saints have not been beaten in the first game of a new year since 2011.

"The win at Gloucester was a very positive start," Mallinder added. "We only won by a point, but it’s a big point so we were very happy."