Boss Hasselbaink backing striker Long to hit the goal trail for Cobblers

Cobblers boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink believes the goals will soon start to flow for striker Chris Long.

Thursday, 2nd November 2017, 5:16 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 10:13 am
Chris Long celebrates his second goal in the 3-1 win over Portsmouth on September 12

The Burnley loan man has scored twice in 13 appearances this season, with both of those coming in the same game, the 3-1 win over Portsmouth at Sixfields on September 12.

After recovering from a hanstring problem that saw him miss a month of action, Long has returned to the starting line-up and led the line in Town’s past three games, playing a key role in the team claiming a draw at Rochdale, and then wins over Gillingham and Blackpool.

The one negative has been that the 22-year-old hasn’t capped his hard-working performances with a goal .

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It has left him cutting a frustrated figure at times, but Hasselbaink is certain things will turn for the player.

“Chris is frustrated at the moment, and I know that is a normal thing, but we need to keep on getting in his head that he shouldn’t get frustrated,” said the Cobblers manager.

“He shouldn’t worry about it, even though it is hard, because he is doing a very good job for the team and he needs to keep on doing that, and his chances will come.

“I have said to him ‘how much will it be worth for you to score a goal?’ If I said to you ‘you need to make 100 runs, it might be on the 99th that the good chance will come, will it be worth it?’

“He says yes to me, so it is about keeping on doing those runs and trying to get in front of the goal, and for us also to keep on trying to find him, and giving him quality balls at the right times.

“Chris has ability, he knows where the back of the net is, and we just need to make sure we keep him fit, keep him on the pitch, and he will get stronger and then start scoring goals.”

Long is set to lead the Cobblers line again this weekend as they begin their FA Cup campaign with a first round date against fellow Sky Bet League One side Scunthorpe United at Sixfields (ko 3pm).