Leinster's Jamie Heaslip insists that his side remain very much on course to progress to the knock-out stages of the Heineken Cup, despite their surprise defeat to Northampton Saints last weekend.

An out of sorts Leinster went down 18-9 to Northampton at the Aviva Stadium, a result that was all the more surprising coming as it did on the back of a hugely impressive 40-7 victory over the same side at Franklin’s Gardens the previous week.

Nevertheless, Heaslip is confident that Leinster are on the right track and speaking to RTÉ's Game On at the launch of the 2013 GOAL Mile launch, he insisted that his side will bounce back.

"We’re still in a very strong position. It would have been nice to have four out of four (wins) but three out of four is not a bad spot going into the Christmas break in the European Cup,” the Ireland international said.

"I think we’re in a very strong position. Obviously we’re a little bit disappointed with how things went (against Northampton). 

"We weren't as accurate as we could have been, or have been, and the margins at that level are so fine. The balance between being on the money and not and what can happen was typified on Saturday.

"It was a great experience in terms of the atmosphere, I thought our fans were amazing and the work put into promoting it was unbelievable.  Running out on that field was.....wow, it was hair standing up on the back of your neck kind of stuff, it was just a shame that a couple of inaccuracies early on in the game punished us.

"We had key moments throughout the game, some exits that we didn’t exit properly, that allowed them to keep the pressure on us and some line-outs that we had that we didn’t execute properly from all of us."

Heaslip is keen to put that result behind him now and focus on the busy Christmas period as Leinster look to put pressure on Munster at the top the RaboDirect PRO12 and cement their place in the top four.

"We play about 15 to 20 big games between international and club games and then you’ve got to keep going hard in the league which is a big one, especially when you turn the corner at Christmas and New Years. You want to as close to, or in that top four pack as you come into the home straight," he said.

"You win some of these big games and you lose some of the these big games. You want to win them all and you go in focused with that winning mindset, so it’s more so the ones that you lose that want to learn from. You’ve got to put it in perspective."