Hasselbaink says Cobblers 'didn't get out of the starting blocks' in Southend draw

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink saw his team throw away a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 at Southend United on Saturday (Picture: Sharon Lucey)
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink saw his team throw away a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 at Southend United on Saturday (Picture: Sharon Lucey)

Manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink admitted he was frustrated by the result and his team's performance in the Cobblers' 2-2 draw at Southend United.

But the Town boss was also pleased his team did at least return from Roots Hall with a share of the spoils on Saturday, to make it seven points out of a possible nine in his first three games in charge.

The Cobblers looked be on course for all three points as they led 2-0 at half-time thanks to strikes from the recalled Leon Barnett and Matt Crooks.

But poor defending at the start of the second half gifted Southend two goals in the space of a little more than 60 seconds and it was all square just five minutes into the second half.

Town were put under intense pressure for long periods of the second half, but they kept the home side out, and they had to play out the last couple of minutes with 10 men following Crooks' needless sending off deep into stoppage time.

"This match was not as good as I thought it would be, and I expected more from my team," said a disappointed Hasselbaink..

"Southend is always a difficult place to come and they put us under pressure, but that is normal, that is going to happen.

"But I expected more from my team, but even so we still got our noses in front.

"Then we expect even more because that lifts you a little bit. but we didn't really get out of the starting blocks.

"There was some great play for the second goal, that was quality, but then again we sat back a little, when at times we should be taking the problem at the neck and squeezing it more."

The Cobblers came out for second half protecting that 2-0 lead, but Demetriou pulled one back when his shot took a huge deflection to wrong-foot Matt Ingram, and Southend were level a minute later as Wordsworth capitalised on a poor clearance header from Barnett to make it 2-2.

"The second goal from us is very poor, to get a goal like that against us shouldn't happen," said Hasselbaink, who will also have been annoyed at the concession of the first, coming after a foul by Crooks on Cox, with a poor touch by the Cobblers man leaving him little option but to bring down his man.

"But we battled and took the point, and if you said to us from the start that it would be a 0-0 for my first away game, then I would have taken that.

"But then, to have been leading 2-0 we are disappointed that we don't go home with the three points."

Hasselbaink was also annoyed with Crooks' late red card, particularly as it means the former Rangers man will now miss Tuesday night's trip to high-flying Wigan Athletic.

Crooks had been booked for the foul on Cox that led to the opening goal, and then failed to retreat from the ball as Southend attempted to take a free-kick, and was handed a second yellow by referee Nick Kinseley

"He knows I am disappointed," Hasselbaink said of the Crooks dismissal. "We had a little chat in the dressing room, because the card was not needed, but that is know-how.

"Matt is a young boy and he will learn, but we are missing him now for Tuesday, and it is a big miss."