Hasselbaink delighted as Cobblers show character to claim win in face of Portsmouth pressure

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink saw his Cobblers team win their second match in the space of three days as they saw off Portsmouth 3-1 at Sixfields (Picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink saw his Cobblers team win their second match in the space of three days as they saw off Portsmouth 3-1 at Sixfields (Picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Cobblers boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was delighted to see his side 'not crumble' under severe second-half pressure as they claimed a 3-1 win over Portsmouth at Sixfields on Tuesday night.

A Chris Long double, his first goals for the club, and a header from Matt Crooks secured a second win in the space of three days for Hasselbaink's Cobblers, who are now out of the relegation zone and up to 17th in the Sky Bet League One table.

Chris Long slides home the Cobblers' opening goal

Chris Long slides home the Cobblers' opening goal

But Town had to withstand a surging second-half comeback from Portsmouth, who applied a lot of pressure on the Cobblers goal and forced Matt Ingram into a string of saves, and the Cobblers boss was relieved to see his team stand up to everything Pompey threw at them.

"I am very pleased with the result, I think it was a very good first half even though we didn't start really well," said Hasselbaink, who has only been in charge at Sixfields for a week.

"We ended it really well though and took our chances, and the first goal was a really good goal, with good passing.

"For the second goal, it is important to score from free-kicks and stuff, but then I was not happy with the start of the second half.

The Cobblers players celebrate Matt Crooks' headed goal

The Cobblers players celebrate Matt Crooks' headed goal

"Portsmouth came back into it, we started sloppily, the intensity wasn't there, and we knew they were always going to put pressure on us, because they had to do something, and they did.

"We disappointed a little bit by not going at them again.

"But they scored, and that is when you learn a lot from your side, and we didn't crumble.

"We steadied the ship, we did the right things, and then it was very important to make it 3-1 and settle everybody down."

On what was generally a positive night for the club, there was an injury concern for Hasselbaink, with teenage midfielder Shaun McWilliams being stretchered off midway through the first half.

McWilliams kicked the bottom of a Portsmouth player's foot in an accidental collision, and the Town boss admits his initial fear is that it is could be bad news.

"It was not a good one, but I don't know how bad yet," said Hasselbaink. "I have not spoken to the physio, but it doesn't look great."