Dylan Hartley: Northampton Saints skipper says club 'must climb out of hole'

Dylan Hartley (left) with Courtney Lawes
Dylan Hartley (left) had been on international duty with England before the Newcastle loss

Northampton Saints skipper Dylan Hartley says the club is in a "hole" which it has to climb out of.

Since topping the Premiership at the end of September they have lost five straight league games, including Friday's home defeat by Newcastle.

"At the moment every week's difficult. Our focus is going to be 'be brilliant at basics'," Hartley, 31, said.

"I see a group that obviously realise where we are, but I see a group that knows where we want to go as well."

Northampton's only victory in their past nine matches in all competitions was an Anglo-Welsh Cup win over Dragons.

They are now 10th in the Premiership, eight points adrift of fourth-placed Bath.

"We're in a hole and the only way is to look up," England captain Hartley told BBC Radio Northampton.

"We've got to climb out, we've got to find a way and when that victory comes it's going to be a sweet one.

"I wholeheartedly believe in the squad, fully. We've got the people, I won't question the guys' commitment."

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