Foden focused on Europe

Full-back putting Heineken Cup ahead of Premiership for now

By Jamie Casey.   Last Updated: 28/04/11 2:46pm

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Foden: Braced for visit of Perpignan on Sunday

Foden: Braced for visit of Perpignan on Sunday

Sky Bet

Ben Foden admits Northampton must put their Aviva Premiership aspirations to one side as he prepares for Sunday's crunch Heineken Cup semi-final with Perpignan.

Saints face the 2003 runners-up at Stadium:MK with a European final place against either Leinster and Toulouse up for grabs

Last week's 26-20 Premiership victory over London Irish all-but guarenteed Saints a play-off postion but Foden, wary of Perpignan's threat, is fully focused on this weekend's task.

"The Premiership has got to be put to the back of our minds and we've got to get our Heineken Cup hats on," he told Sky Sports News HD.

"We're excited. We know it's the business end of the season and knock-out rugby is the most exciting rugby to be playing in.

"We know Perpignan are a good side but it's a game we're looking forward to. They're not doing great things over in the French league, so they'll be focused massively on getting this right."

"We know it's massive, but we're also realists - it only takes one hiccup and you're not in the final. "
Ben Foden Quotes of the week

'Massive'

Having overcome Ulster in the quarter-finals at Milton Keynes, Saints return to the same ground for the last four clash, and Foden admits they have an advantage on home soil.

He said: "To be in the semi-final of the Heineken Cup is massive for us and we know it's a massive task to ask of but we've put ourselves in the best possible situation by managing to get a home quarter-final and now a semi-final.

"At the end of the day it's a football ground but the pitch is in pretty good condition. We like to be a fast, free-flowing team so hopefully it suits us a little bit.

"We were lucky enough to play the quarter-final here so we know what it's like and obviously with the fans we'll bring - tickets are like gold-dust around Northampton - so we know we're going to have some good supporters here."

Saints could overhaul third-placed Gloucester if results go their way in the final round of regular Premiership games.

Full-back Foden dared not to mention the possibility of a Heineken Cup-Championship double as Northampton plan to take one game at a time.

"It would be unbelievable. Only the great teams go and do that," he said.

"To be in that situation is massive for us. We know it's massive, but we're also realists - it only takes one hiccup and you're not in the final."

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