Mallinder warns Saints not to get sucked in by Sale mentality

Jim Mallinder knows all about the threats that Sale will pose to Saints on Friday night
Jim Mallinder knows all about the threats that Sale will pose to Saints on Friday night
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Jim Mallinder believes Sale counterpart Steve Diamond will still have a big influence on Friday's clash at the AJ Bell Stadium despite being hit with a touchline ban.

Diamond was given a six-week suspension for verbally abusing the match officials in his side's Anglo-Welsh Cup game against Harlequins on February 3.

The ban prohibits the 49-year-old from entering the playing enclosure or technical area, as well as approaching or talking to any match officials.

But Mallinder, who has not seen his side win a league game at Sale since November, 2012, feels Diamond will still be able to have an influence and warned Saints about being sucked into the mentality that the Sharks try to create in home matches.

"What Sale do very well is create this mentality of enemy of everybody, everybody hates this northern team, nobody enjoys going up there for an 8.15pm kick-off on a Friday night, you can't get to the stadium chat," said Mallinder, who is a former Sale player and head coach.

"They're a tough team and they will be tough to beat.

"They do have some finishers, they will play some rugby and their wingers are playing really, really well.

"I'm sure Mr Diamond will be about even though he's not meant to be somewhere about and he will be motivating and egging his team on."