Dean Richards: Newcastle Falcons boss says team's rise is getting attention
Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards believes his side are gaining attention due to their higher position in the Premiership table.
Falcons lie eighth, having won six of their 14 matches, after finishing 11th for the previous three campaigns.
"Every year I've been here we've shown improvement," the 53-year-old told BBC Radio Newcastle.
"People don't quite see improvement though until you overtake people, which is what we've done this year," he said.
"I've never looked at anything other than that [being in the top six] for the last four years. We're now getting more wins than people thought, and people are now considering us as top six contenders."
Newcastle host Northampton, who they beat 22-16 earlier this season, on Sunday, with the Saints one place above the Falcons in the table.
"They fight for every point they can get, and will try to reverse the defeat from earlier in the year."
"I want people to look at our combativeness and 'never willing to lie down' attitude. We are getting there. Every game has been a battle for other teams. They don't like coming here and we know that. It's not about the weather up here, but the way we play."
"We've still got to go out and do it. It's not about dizzy heights and aspirations. It's about nailing that win time and time again."