Boss Hasselbaink hoping home will be sweet for the Cobblers as Rovers come to town
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is looking forward to once again experiencing some home comforts when the Cobblers host Bristol Rovers in Sky Bet League One on Saturday (ko 3pm).
It has been a hectic schedule for the Cobblers since Hasselbaink took charge, with the team playing eight games in the space of 24 days, with five of the past six having been on the road.
Town have played once at home since September 12, a 1-0 defeat to Bradford City a fortnight ago, and Hasselbaink is relieved to not only be looking forward to two home games on the spin, with AFC Wimbledon at Sixfields next weekend, but also a rare free week inbetween the fixtures.
“The free week is very pleasing, and we have two home games and it is nice to play in front of your own fans again,” said the Cobblers boss, who is anticipating a tough test against Rovers.
“We are playing against a good team, that has some really good passers in the middle of the park, and some energy up front.
“Out wide they have players who really ask the full-backs questions, so it is a good game for us
“We will have to make sure that we are right, and make sure that we can attack them and be positive and try to really be disciplined and go for some good football, and hopefully the result will come with that.”
Hasselbaink says he ‘could not be happier’ with the application and progress his team is making - but accepts that positive results have to start following on the pitch.
The Dutchman has been in charge at Sixfields for little more than a month now, and after a dream start that saw him win his first two games in charge, the Cobblers have now gone six matches without a win, claiming claiming just two points out of a possible 15 available in Sky Bet League One.
There have been three draws and three defeats in all competitions, but there has been a marked improvement in performance levels.
Hasselbaink is happy to be back at Sixfields, but he also knows playing at home brings an expectation that his team will get back on the winning trail.
After a tough run of fixtures against teams in the promotion-chasing pack, the match against mid-table Rovers perhaps offers a more realistic chance of snatching just a third league win of the campaign, and Hasselbaink is confident results are going to start improving, just as performances have.
“We have been doing well, not the second half of the Rotherham game, but we have been doing well,” said Hasselbaink.
“You want results, and we are in a results business, but I believe that if you keep on doing well you will get the results.
“So we need to keep on doing well, keep on doing the right things, and then we will get the results.”
The Cobblers are set to welcome back fit-again midfielder Shaun McWilliams into the squad for Saturday’s game, while Brendan Moloney should also be fit despite going off at London Road.
Regan Poole misses out as he is on international duty with Wales Under-21s, while also unavailable are a clutch of injured players, with Matt Crooks (knee), Leon Barnett (Achilles), Chris Long (hamstring) Sam Hoskins (ankle), John-Joe O’Toole (groin) and Aaron Phillips (thigh) all out.