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Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder insists his side can improve despite fifth straight win
Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder is adamant his side have not yet hit top gear despite starting the Aviva Premiership season with five straight wins.
The Saints claimed a 24-6 victory over Wasps at Franklin's Gardens on Friday to continue their perfect start to the campaign.
Northampton are enjoying their best ever start to a Premiership season but Mallinder says there are still areas that need to be worked on.
"It is pleasing to win five out of five, but I don't think we have really reached top gear. There is still a little bit more to come from us," he said.
"We defended well to keep them out, but attacking-wise we could sharpen up in a few areas. If we can do that then I am sure we can put some teams to the sword.
"There was a 10- to 15-minute period when we should have scored. Soane Tonga'uiha went through the middle at one stage, then James Wilson (scorer of two tries) had a chance to use his 6ft 4in frame and get a hat-trick.
"We probably wasted a couple of chances there. I would have loved a bonus point, but overall I am happy with the win."
Wilson was stepping in for Ben Foden, who is a long-term injury victim, and Mallinder has been delighted with the way the New Zealander and a raft of new signings have settled into the club.
He added: "Quite a lot of people questioned us in terms of players leaving and whether we could cope.
"The players have come in, Luther Burrell and Dominic Waldouck are playing well as is Rhys Oakley and they are fitting into the way we like to play the game and we are winning rugby matches, which is what it is all about."
Wasps director of rugby Dai Young revealed wing James Bailey was taken to hospital with a suspected broken leg after being carried off on a stretcher 17 minutes into his first start for the club.
Prop Tim Payne was sin-binned on his 250th appearance for the club, with some believing it should have been a red card after the television match official caught him dropping a knee on Vasily Artemyev.
Young said: "We will have a good look at it. That is what they are there for. If that is a yellow card offence you are going to take it."
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Aviva Premiership Table
|Friday 5th September|
|19:45||Northampton vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 6th September|
|14:00||Sale vs Bath|
|14:00||Saracens vs Wasps|
|15:00||Leicester vs Newcastle|
|16:30||London Irish vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 7th September|
|14:00||London Welsh vs Exeter|
|Friday 12th September|
|19:45||Harlequins vs Saracens|
|Saturday 13th September|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Sale|
|15:00||Bath vs London Welsh|
|15:15||Exeter vs Leicester|
|Sunday 14th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Northampton|
|15:00||Newcastle vs London Irish|
|Friday 19th September|
|19:45||Gloucester vs Exeter|
|Saturday 20th September|
|14:00||Sale vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Wasps|
|15:00||London Irish vs Saracens|
|15:15||Bath vs Leicester|
|Sunday 21st September|
|14:00||Newcastle vs Northampton|
|Friday 26th September|
|19:45||London Welsh vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 27th September|
|15:00||Leicester vs London Irish|
|15:00||Saracens vs Sale|
|15:15||Northampton vs Bath|
|Sunday 28th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Newcastle|
|14:00||Exeter vs Harlequins|
|Friday 3rd October|
|19:45||Bath vs Saracens|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com