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Mallinder: Reaction has been good

Director of rugby Jim Mallinder says his Northampton side are in a positive mood as they look to respond to back-to-back defeats when they travel to Sale on Friday night.

The Saints, semi-finalists last term, opened their season with a narrow win over Gloucester but have since suffered reverses at the hands of Harlequins and London Irish, leaving them down in ninth in the table after three games.

"The reaction has been very good this week," he said. "Everyone was bitterly disappointed with both the result and performance (against London Irish) on Saturday and we've looked long and hard at that this week."

He added: "We have been doing quite a few things well, but we've also been working hard on the things that we haven't been doing so well at.

"We've put last weekend's game behind us, hopefully learned some lessons, and have been fully focused on Sale.

"Edgeley Park is a tough place to play and Sale try to make it as horrible a place as they can for opposition teams.

"We know it's going to be difficult - Sale are playing well and won their last two games. But we've been up there before and won up there before and are in a positive frame of mind for the trip."

Mallinder has made three changes for the journey to the north west. Stephen Myler is handed the fly-half duties in place of Ryan Lamb, while Paul Doran-Jones and Brian Mujati come in to the front row.

The Sharks are boosted by the return of captain Sam Tuitupou, who comes on to the bench, with young winger Tom Brady coming in for Charlie Amesbury, although they have been dealt a blow with the news that England flanker Hendre Fourie needs a shoulder operation.

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