Jim Mallinder: Northampton Saints 'need' to beat Ospreys

Northampton Saints boss Jim Mallinder has said victory over Ospreys on Sunday is essential if they are to progress past the Heineken Cup pool stage.

Saints started their European campaign with a 19-13 bonus-point defeat against Castres in France on Saturday.

"We have to have a massive week. Come Sunday we need to win at home," director of rugby Mallinder told BBC Radio Northampton.

Saints in recent Heineken Cups

  • 2012-13: Out at pool stage
  • 2011-12: Out at pool stage
  • 2010-11: Beaten finalists
  • 2009-10: Beaten quarter-finalists

"In the Heineken Cup you can't afford to lose your home games."

In Pool One's other fixture, Leinster beat Ospreys 19-9 in Wales to go top of the group.

It means the region will be pointless when they visit Franklin's Gardens this weekend.

"It's six games and that's what you've got to look at," added Mallinder.

"We've had our first game away to the French champions.

"We haven't won, but we came close and got the point. So we're still certainly well in the tournament.

"Clearly Ospreys have got a good side - the front five in particular.

"It's a massive challenge for us but if you want to be successful in the pool stages you have got to win your home games."