Tom Wood admits Saints were in a 'dark place' a few weeks ago, but believes he and his team-mates are finally getting their belief back.
Wood and Co claimed their third successive Aviva Premiership win on Saturday, scoring four tries in a 32-26 triumph against Bristol at Franklin's Gardens.
Saints moved up to fifth in the league in the process and can reflect on a transformation in fortunes following back-to-back December drubbings by Leinster.
"We've not quite hit our straps this year," said Wood, who scored for the second home game in succession in the victory against Bristol.
"We've not quite been the Saints of old and we've had to muddle through these last few weeks.
"We were in a dark place three weeks ago, but we've galvanised, we've set ourselves this three-week target and we've achieved our minimum target.
"We're slowly getting our game going and building some confidence.
"To be out there in front of your home fans and pull through in a game like that, in which we had to fight tooth and nail at times, was really pleasing for us."
Saints will now take a break from Premiership action, facing Castres and Montpellier in the Champions Cup before taking on Leicester Tigers and Scarlets in the Anglo-Welsh Cup.
When Jim Mallinder's men return to the league, on February 10, they will travel to Bath, who are currently sitting fourth, five points above Saints in the standings.
The fact they were able to close the gap on the top four this weekend, with Bath having lost at Newcastle on Friday night, was vital for Saints.
And Wood said: "I think it (the win against Bristol) was pretty big.
"Sat in the changing room after the game, a part of me was frustrated because in years gone by we would be thinking about running away with that game in the second half, but it didn't quite happen.
"We have to give credit to Bristol. They're a much-improved outfit, they caused us all sorts of problems and they never let the game get away from them.
"I think they're going to cause plenty of problems for teams this year."