Saints coach King: There won’t be another season like this

Alex King admits it is tough to achieve consistency this season (picture: Linda Dawson)
Alex King admits it is tough to achieve consistency this season (picture: Linda Dawson)

Alex King admits there is unlikely to be another season as brutal as the one Saints and their Aviva Premiership rivals are experiencing this time round.

With the World Cup having delayed the start of the league campaign, the LV= Cup was taken off the schedule to ensure all Premiership and Champions Cup games could be played.

That means there is little respite for teams, who would normally use the Anglo-Welsh competition to rest and rotate their stars.

Saints are currently in the middle of a block of 10 consecutive league matches, with Saturday’s game against Worcester Warriors at Franklin’s Gardens their fifth in a row.

Jim Mallinder’s men have so far failed to win more than two consecutive Premiership games in an inconsistent season, with last Sunday’s defeat at Newcastle Falcons ending a run of two victories.

And attack coach King said: “The games come thick and fast and every game is crucial.

“This is another opportunity to get four points at the weekend.

“Because the season started later and there hasn’t been an LV= Cup to rest and rotate some of your frontline players, it’s (tough) week in, week out and I don’t think there will be another season like it.

“There have been a few surprise results and very few teams have gone on a huge run of wins.

“Saracens won quite a few in a row but lost to Harlequins and lost heavily to Wasps, but that’s the kind of season it is. It’s very hard to maintain your form over the 28 games in Europe and the league,

“You have to understand that as a team, as coaches, but ultimately get into that position at the end of the season with your squad as fit as you can and with as many points as possible to make sure you’re challenging for honours.”

Saints, who face a Champions Cup quarter-final at Saracens on April 9, currently sit sixth in the Aviva Premiership, five points off the top four.

And they know they will not have it easy against Worcester this weekend, with the Warriors, who beat Northampton on the opening night, having ended their 13-match losing streak with a superb win against Sale Sharks at Sixways last weekend.

“They’ve come through a sticky patch in the league and in Europe, and they’ve signed one or two players as well,” King said.

“They’re a competitive team, like all of the teams in the league are. You have to deserve your win to get it.

“We need to make sure we’re at our best to get the victory that we want to back up the victory we had against London Irish last time we played here at the Gardens.”