Haskell: Saints working hard to get out of 'a bit of a hole'

James Haskell was in action for Saints against Clermont (picture: Kelly Cooper)
James Haskell was in action for Saints against Clermont (picture: Kelly Cooper)

James Haskell admits Saints are 'in a bit of a hole at the moment'.

And the flanker insists he and his team-mates will work hard to turn things around at the Dragons on Friday night.

Saints suffered a heavy defeat in their Challenge Cup opener last Saturday, losing 41-20 to Clermont Auvergne at Franklin's Gardens.

The result means they have only won two of their seven matches in all competitions this season.

And summer recruit Haskell said: "We're not going to put any window dressing on it - it's very disappointing.

"We're in a bit of a hole at the moment, we're not performing as we'd want.

"Across the board, we're very keen to right those wrongs.

"We're trying to put that effort in, but our skill execution is failing us, our set piece is failing us at times.

"We're trying our hardest to fix it and all you can do at times like these is not sit around crying over spilled milk.

"It's the fans' job to be upset, it's our job to go away, analyse it, start again and work very hard."

Top 14 table-toppers Clermont scored six tries before Saints responded with late efforts from Tom Collins and David Ribbans.

And Haskell said: "They're top of the French league and we knew it was going to be a massive challenge for us.

"Boydy (Saints boss Chris Boyd) just said it was about commitment, putting our bodies on the line and trying to show the Saints fans and ourselves that we could compete.

"The scoreline didn't show that, but in terms of effort and boys playing for 80 minutes, we did that.

"In the first half we were in the game, but we just couldn't convert our pressure.

"If you get into their 22 and you lose your lineouts and they're able to relieve pressure by kicking it out, you're always going to be in trouble."