Boss Hasselbaink relieved as playing schedule eases up in October
Boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink admits it has been tough for him to properly get his ideas across to the Cobblers squad due to the amount of games the team has played since he took charge.
Town have played eight games in the space of 24 days since Hasselbaink replaced Justin Edinburgh at Sixfields, with five of those being away games.
It has meant quality time out on the training pitch has been hard to come by for Hasselbaink and assistant Dean Austin, but respite is, briefly, on the way.
The Cobblers return to Sixfields for only their second home game in seven on Saturday when they host Bristol Rovers, and then they have a free week before AFC Wimbledon come to town a week later.
Indeed, there is only one midweek match scheduled for the rest of October, at Rochdale on the 17th, and Hasselbaink will be looking forward to properly working with his players, although he insists he is already pleased with the way his team is improving.
“It is a pity we have had to play so many games in such a little spell, but it is about looking at the progress,” said the Cobblers boss.
“It is looking at how well we are doing in certain areas, and in certain aspects of the game, and how much better we need to do in other aspects.
“It has been unfortunate that we can’t really work properly, and we are trying to put in minutes when we can coach, but we also have to look after the players because there are so many games.
“A majority of the time it is game then recovery, game then recovery, and then in the middle we are trying to organise and put some kind of way forward together.”
The Cobblers go into this weekend’s clash with Bristol Rovers boosted by their performance in Tuesday’s Checkatrade Trophy draw at Peterborough United, as well as their victory in the penalty shoot out that followed the stalemate at London Road.
Hasselbaink is certainly hoping it will give his players some confidence so they can go out and express themselves a bit more.
“I can’t be more happy about the application, and how the players are conducting themselves, and hopefully Tuesday night’s result will give them a boost to try more things,” said the Town manager. “To be more outgoing, and to have more personality.”