Jim Mallinder has insisted that Heineken Cup is still an important part of Northampton Saints' season despite the defeat to Castres in Round 3 last weekend.
Defeat at Stade Pierre Antoine, was their third of this campaign and leaves the Saints at the bottom of Pool 1.
Mallinder's side reached the won all eight of their matches on the way to the Heineken Cup Final last season, before eventually being beaten by champions Leinster.
And whilst acknowledging this season's campaign has not gone to plan, Mallinder still believes the tournament is an important part of his plans.
"Obviously we're disappointed with how the Heineken Cup has gone for us so far this season," Mallinder told ERC.
"But although the results have not gone our way the second half of the pool campaign will remain important in terms of how we play and in generating momentum for the Premiership.
We have points to prove against all three teams, starting this Sunday against Castres, and all of the players are determined to turn good performances into wins.
"By the end of Saturday's game we had four Heineken Cup debutants on the field and a pack with an average age in the low twenties.
"Experiencing playing against a tough outfit like Castres will only benefit them in the future and we'll be looking for them to take more steps forward in their careers during the rest of the season."
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