Boss Hasselbaink hits out after unacceptable first-half performance leads to Oldham hammering

A deeply disappointed Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink let rip at his side's woeful first-half performance after their 5-1 defeat to Oldham Athletic on Saturday, labelling it as 'just not good enough' with the Cobblers all but beaten by half-time.

Saturday, 9th December 2017, 6:09 pm
Updated Monday, 11th December 2017, 10:23 pm
Cobblers boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink watches his team suffer a heavy defeat at a snowy Oldham

Town afforded their hosts far too much time and space on the ball in the opening 45 minutes and they were duly punished when Jack Byrne twice scored from range, albeit in different circumstances, while Tope Obadeyi was also left unmarked to head in a corner.

Town marginally improved in the second-half and they ignited hope of a fightback through Sam Foley's first league strike for the club but the Latics were not to be denied, adding further goals through Gevaro Nepomuceno and Craig Davies.

That left Hasselbaink to stew on yet another utterly forgettable afternoon for himself and the team, who drop to second bottom in Sky Bet League One as a result and now require a significant turnaround in performance levels if they are to escape the bottom four in the near future.

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"I'm very disappointed," said the Town manager afterwards. "We expected a lot more out of the game.

"The first-half was just not acceptable. We were too far away from their influential players.

"In the second-half we tried to make a fist of it and at times we looked really good.

"We scored the goal and their goalkeeper made a couple of saves but you're a little bit open at the back when you're trying to push for the second goal.

"But it was all about the first-half. If you play football like that, you'll be punished and you just can't do that.

"You need to be better and more resilient and more aggressive with and without the ball but in the first-half we weren't."

Asked to put his finger on why his side were so off the pace in those costly first 45 minutes, he replied: "The spaces were too big.

"When you close down a player, you need to go all the way. If you're not going all the way, they will hurt you and good players will hurt you.

"We spoke about it the whole week and if you don't do it, they'll score goals like the first and the second goals.

"The third was unlucky with the deflection but if you're closer, you don't get the deflection and you block it. Those are little things but they are important and you need to do those things all over the pitch as a team and we didn't in the first-half."

Foley's goal did bring a brief spell of Northampton pressure but again their lack of creativity and cutting edge was telling.

"I think we looked good at that time of the game and we had the upper-hand but nothing materialised from it," added Hasselbaink.

"The goalkeeper made a good save but we should have kicked on and we didn't.

"We are in it all together and we have lost 5-1 together. Now we need to improve."