Saints have never wavered in their support of boss Mallinder

Jim Mallinder has always had the backing of the Saints board (picture: Sharon Lucey)

Jim Mallinder has always had the backing of the Saints board (picture: Sharon Lucey)

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Tony Hewitt has stressed that Saints have never wavered in their support of director of rugby Jim Mallinder.

And Hewitt, who has announced that he will be calling time on his three-and-a-half-year spell as chairman, has backed Mallinder to get the right men in to revive the club’s fortunes next season.

Mallinder saw his side suffer a sobering 46-31 Aviva Premiership defeat at Newcastle Falcons last Sunday, with Saints slipping down to eighth in the league standings.

But he retains the full backing of the board and, with Saints having this week announced a £1 million cash injection from existing shareholders, Mallinder is being given the necessary funds to add big names to his backline.

“I can honestly say, as I always have said, the board have got total faith in Jim,” said Hewitt, who will be replaced as chairman by his deputy, John White.

“We’re not a hire and fire. We’re not looking to fire him, he’s not under question at all.

“He knows where the weaknesses are this year so we can strengthen those for next season and we start again then.

“I’ve always said we totally support him.”