Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is ‘committed’ to the ‘big project’ at the Cobblers and is ‘not going to walk away’, regardless of whether or not the club secures its Sky Bet League One survival.
With just seven matches remaining this season, Town find themselves fourth from bottom in Sky Bet League One, and in serious danger of dropping back into league two, just two years after winning promotion under Chris Wilder.
I signed for two-and-a-half years when I came, and I knew it was going to be a big project and I am committedCobblers boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink
Hasselbaink, who celebrated his 46th birthday on Tuesday, was appointed by chairman Kelvin Thomas in September following the sacking of Justin Edinburgh, with the club bottom of the table with zero points from their first four matches of the campaign.
Despite some encouraging signs, it is fair to say things haven’t gone as Hasselbaink and the club would have liked, but the former Netherlands striker has made it clear he intends to fulfil the commitment that saw him sign a contract at the club until the summer of 2020.
Town take on Charlton Athletic at Sixfields this Friday before travelling to fierce rivals Peterborough United in the Easter Monday derby clash, and Hasselbaink knows he and his players have to start winning, and quickly, if they are to have a chance of survival.
The Cobblers’ hopes of staying up have been severely hit by recent results and performances, with Saturday’s disappointing 2-0 defeat at relegation rivals Fleetwood meaning the team have claimed just four points out of the past 21 available to them.
It is a run that has seen them drop into the bottom four, having played at least one more match than all of the teams around them, and there is obvious concern among the supporters that Town are heading back into the Football League basement division.
Plenty of fans are not happy about the situation, especially after the investment in new players over the past two transfer windows.
And when asked if he understood any negativity being about the fact the supporters don’t want to see their team playing back in league two, Hasselbaink said: “Nor do I, but obviously it is a possibility because we are in the bottom four.
“I signed for two-and-a-half years when I came, and I knew it was going to be a big project and I am committed.
“Of course, I don’t want to be in league two, and I want to keep this club in league one and build from there.
“It’s not that I am going to walk away from this, in good times or bad times.”
There haven’t been an abundance of good times in recent weeks, but there have been stages throughout the season where things seem to have clicked for Town.
And Hasselbaink is now hoping he will be allowed to finish the job he has started, regardless of where the team ends the season in the league one table.
“When I came here and spoke to Kelvin, I said I want to be at a club for a couple of years at least, because I want to build something, and that is my idea,” said the Cobblers boss.
“We have two-and-a-half years, and if I am allowed, my plan is to be here and to fulfil this project to where I see it going.
“But first things first, we need to keep Northampton in league one.”