Frustrated boss Hasselbaink criticises Sixfields boos after Oxford stalemate

MIXED EMOTIONS: Town's performance pleased Hasselbaink, but the result didn't. Picture by Kirsty Edmonds
MIXED EMOTIONS: Town's performance pleased Hasselbaink, but the result didn't. Picture by Kirsty Edmonds

Cobblers boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink once again voiced his criticism of the Sixfields crowd after the full-time whistle of Saturday's goalless draw with Oxford United was greeted with a smattering of boos.

Not for the first time this season, home fans inside Sixfields expressed their disappointment with what they had witnessed after Town failed to overcome their cross-border rivals to remain in the heat of a relegation battle in League One, just two points above the bottom four.

The Cobblers have also now won just one of their past 10 home games, although they could and probably should have come away from Saturday's game with all three points after missing a host of presentable chances, particularly in the first-half.

Chris Long was the biggest culprit, twice firing off target when well-placed in an entertaining first-half that was shaded by the hosts, while Town also messed up several counter-attacking opportunities in the second period, nearly paying the price at the death when Oxford's Wes Thomas headed wide from six yards.

"I think we all are frustrated that we didn't put the ball in the net because that's the most important thing and we were very positive, especially first-half," said Hasselbaink afterwards.

"We created a number of chances but you have to be clinical and you have to score when you're on top.

"I can't fault the players. I thought they were excellent, in the first-half particularly. We didn't score and because we didn't score, in the second-half Oxford still had the belief and they came for us and we lost a little bit of control in midfield.

"We became stretched and it wasn't meant to be so I'm very, very disappointed."

Not only were there boos at full-time, audible groans of discontent could also be heard when Hasselbaink replaced Gboly Ariyibi, arguably Town's brightest and most threatening attacking player on the day, with Hildeberto Pereira on 72 minutes.

"I'm also disappointed with the reaction of the crowd," he added. "They were shouting for a second striker to come on but we didn't have another striker on the bench.

"Kevin (van Veen) is injured unfortunately and Boris (Mathis) was sent home ill yesterday. If I had a second striker, I would have put him on because we're playing at home and of course I want to win the game.

"I think the boos at the end were unfair on the boys. They did ever so well and we had enough chances to win three or four games, so in that aspect I was happy with the performance but not so happy that we didn't capitalise on those chances."