Oxford win thrills Hasselbaink as Cobblers boss lauds 'brave and mature' performance

PROUD MAN: Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was a happy man at full-time on Saturday. Picture by Kirsty Edmonds
PROUD MAN: Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was a happy man at full-time on Saturday. Picture by Kirsty Edmonds

A beaming Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was chuffed to bits by his side's 'very brave and mature' performance in their 2-1 win over Oxford United on Saturday.

The Cobblers come away from the Kassim Stadium with a third league victory on the bounce courtesy of first-half goals from Ash Taylor and Chris Long.

Wes Thomas did briefly bring Oxford level in breathless first period but there was no doubting the validity of Northampton's win, which lifts them out of the Sky Bet League One relegation zone while also stretching their unbeaten run to six games in all competitions.

"I'm very proud of my players today to come here and play the way we played," said Hasselbaink. "We were very dominant.

"In spells, yes, they had the ball and they manipulated the spaces but you know that because they're very good at it and we handled it well.

"We were very mature and very brave and we could have scored more goals and I like to be able to say that because we created chances.

"The way we played showed a lot of character and a lot of belief because it's not easy to come here and not many teams will beat Oxford.

"I think both central midfielders were good and solid for us but the whole team also were and you can't really single out one person - it was a really good team performance."

The win, just Town's third away victory of 2017, takes them up a couple of places to 19th in the table.

"Of course it's very important (to get out of the relegation zone)," added Hasselbaink. "But we need to keep on going.

"Obviously it's nice but now it's about the next game and the next game is the FA Cup."