Northampton Saints' Phil Dowson wants defensive focus

Phil Dowson
Dowson is captain of the Saints whilst Dylan Hartley is at the World Cup

Captain Phil Dowson believes Northampton Saints have the creativity to score points, but need to focus on defence.

The Heineken Cup finalists and Aviva Premiership semi-finalists have lost three straight league games.

"We've never had a problem with creativity in the past," Dowson told BBC Radio Northampton.

"There's enough experience and quality [here] to put points on the board, but we [must not] give so many away."

Saints have suffered defeats to London Irish, Harlequins and Sale Sharks after an opening day win over Gloucester.

"It's a club that demands results and they haven't been going our way," said Dowson.

"But we shouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater, there's plenty of good things we're doing.

"The scrum is going pretty well, the lineout is going pretty well, and when we've got fifteen we look pretty watertight defensively.

"We're just giving penalties away, and that's something we need to tighten up. And sometimes, away from home, we're a bit coy to go forward - we need to get ball in the hands of the back line and let them have a shot at it."

Dowson, who joined Saints from Newcastle Falcons in 2009, says he is also looking to make up for his yellow card in the defeat to Sale.

"Turning pressure into points is a big issue and discipline is a massive issue. [My] getting sin-binned was through an act of idiocy but I've dealt with that.

"Sometimes these things happen but I'll make sure every effort is made to put that right for the rest of the lads."