23rd Sep, 2020

Time to keep the faith as Saints arrive for big test

Rob George 4th Mar, 2020

WARRIORS chief Alan Solomons has urged the club’s supporters to ‘keep the faith’ as his side seek to record their first win of 2020 when Northampton Saints come to Sixways on Friday night.

The Sixways side will take to the field on the back of five straight defeats in the Gallagher Premiership and European Challenge Cup with the club’s last victory coming on December 28 in a 20-6 triumph over London Irish.

Saturday’s 14-8 reverse at Welford Road ended a run of six consecutive wins over Leicester Tigers and saw the East Midlands side to move within a point of tenth-placed Warriors.

Warriors secured a fourth successive losing bonus point but that was no consolation as they ended their match without first choice locks Graham Kitchener and Anton Besler, who failed head injury assessments, and with scrum-half Francois Hougaard in the back row after Marco Mama hobbled off with an ankle injury.

The defeat sparked criticism from fans online as a promising start to the season has been dampened by recent results and speaking yesterday (Tuesday) Solomons said he understood the fans’ frustrations.

“Last season we won a number of games – Leicester home and away, Saracens and Bath at home – with late scores, this season things haven’t quite gone our way,” he said.

“The lads are putting in a huge amount of effort. Anyone who watched the Bristol match at Ashton Gate would appreciate what an unbelievable performance to restrict a side that plays a possession-based game to one try, and that came from a tap penalty.

“We are so close and it’s important that our supporters stick with us through thick and thin. Keep the faith, come to Sixways on Friday and support the boys. The supporters have a big part to play in helping to get the boys over the line,” he added.

The Warriors chief said his side could have won any one of the last four games and stressed the club would be in a much different position had they emerged on top.

“We have got to keep things in perspective, stay keep focused, keep working hard and be persistent.

“The commitment of the players is unbelievable. To put in 294 tackles at Bristol, then put in another big shift at Leicester six days later and then have another six day turnaround for Northampton requires a huge effort.

Anton Bresler failed a head injury assessment on Saturday and won’t be fit this weekend while Graham Kitchener also failed a head injury assessment at Leicester.

Ted Hill should be fine to play against Northampton while Marco Mama suffered a foot injury against Leicester and will be out for between five and six weeks.

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