AFTER such an extensive pre-season, it was somewhat disappointing to start the new Aviva Premiership season off with a rusty display against London Irish at Twickenham last Saturday.
There are a lot of issues which can ultimately prove the difference between winning and losing in rugby, but the fact of the matter is we were simply not good enough last weekend.
Whether it was the heat or the big-game atmosphere, I don’t know, but we played with a lack of intensity and it was pretty hard to take.
There are, however, no such things as inquests at Saracens. Saturday was simply a case of 10 players performing to the required standard and five not. Each one of those players acknowledged that, however, and we move on.
Starting off the season as many people’s favourites is not a distraction, in fact if anything it has given us confidence and belief to kick on from our breakthrough season last year.
Saracens are a good rugby team and it’s my job to make sure the players believe that and to introduce a system in which the players can express themselves. There’s no fear about going to Leicester, Northampton or Bath any more, we beat all three of them away last season, the players know they can do it.
One below-par performance does not make you a bad player overnight and it is for that reason we will are keeping the same team which lost to London Irish to host Sale in our first home game of the season on Sunday.
We don’t drop anyone at Saracens, that proves counter-productive.
Unfortunately, Chris Wyles and Brad Barritt picked up knocks in training during the week, but we are hoping they will be fit.
It is, however, great to see the likes of Steve Borthwick, David Strettle and Neil De Kock back from injury and all three will be on the bench for us at the weekend.
For tickets details on Saracens v Sale on Sunday (ko 3pm), call the ticket office on 01727 792800.