Sale director of rugby Alex Sanderson is excited by the squad’s potential after they demolished London Irish 41-13 at the AJ Bell Stadium.

Sharks wing Byron McGuigan starred, touching down three times, while Simon Hammersley, Lood de Jager and Arron Reed also crossed the whitewash.

It keeps them in fourth place in the Gallagher Premiership table but they are now six points clear of Northampton ahead of Saturday's trip to Wasps.

Sanderson has consistently looked to rotate the team, which has perhaps contributed to some of their recent defeats, but the new boss believes that it is coming together.

“There’s been a little less aggressive form of rotation, so changing six as opposed to 10,” he said. “When those guys maybe came in the first time, they felt the pressure to perform.

“Hopefully now they understand that the pressure isn’t there because they’re always going to play, I’m always going to back them. They came, slotted in and played a lot more of their own game.

“The ability to squeeze a team, to pressurise them through your physicality, through your set piece and your game-management, it was there.

“In the past, we’ve gone under a bit. When we didn’t get the scores against Quins, when we didn’t get it against Bath with all that dominance. Whether or not we felt a bit sorry for ourselves, it affected us emotionally. Today, it didn’t.

“That’s a big stride for me. It’s a big win, not just for the bonus-point, but the fact that we were able to regulate our emotions and stay on it, and stay on top of them.”

Sanderson has also looked to bring in a vibrant and positive mindset to the Sharks as they attempt to reach the top-four for the first time since their title win in 2006.

He added: “One of the things we’ve got to do while I’m here is enjoy it. We’ve got to enjoy it, otherwise what’s the point? It’s such a finite time in your life, it’s a special time.

“It’s not just the triumphs, because we’re going to win games, but we’ve got to enjoy the struggle as well. We’ve got to enjoy the hardships and last week, on the back of that loss (to Northampton), that’s the struggle.

“We probably should have won and we didn’t, but do we go with it or do we come together and grow? And we did; we found the solutions ourselves. We’re building, we’re growing and today was a good sign of that.”