Sale captain Dan Braid admits it is a critical period for the squad as they prepare to host Northampton at the AJ Bell Stadium on Saturday.
The former All Black, who was sorely missed in the Sharks’ heavy loss at Wasps last weekend, knows that a response is needed in Salford.
But it does not get any easier with the arrival of the high-flying Saints, who are currently sitting pretty atop the Premiership standings.
“This period is critical, We had a good run leading up to Christmas but to lose like we did against Leicester, playing so well and then dropping off late in the game, and the very disappointing game against Wasps was disappointing,” said Braid, speaking to Premiership Rugby.
“I think performance-wise we’ve got to get into the game, got to turn up with attitude, do everything we want to do attack-wise and I’m fairly confident if we can do that we can beat Northampton. It’s about the performance first and foremost.
“We really look forward to these games. These are the ones that you want to play in – against a top side at your home ground. We’ve got good memories of the same clash last season where we managed to tip them over, so it’s very exciting going into this weekend.”
He added: “We had a pretty good run to get us up there pre-Christmas and I think it shows just how tight the table is that at the top this season it is good for rugby over here that one or two losses in a row and you’re bumped back down the pecking order,” he added.
“It’s vital against a top side that you want beat them to get points out of these games.”