Hasselbaink accepts responsibility for Fleetwood defeat and claims he 'should have made more changes'

MY FAULT: Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink took the blame for his side's 2-0 defeat to Fleetwood. Picture by Kirsty Edmonds
MY FAULT: Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink took the blame for his side's 2-0 defeat to Fleetwood. Picture by Kirsty Edmonds

Cobblers boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink accepted responsibility for Saturday's 2-0 defeat to Fleetwood and claimed he 'should have made more changes' after his side sunk deeper into relegation trouble.

Midfielder Shaun McWilliams replaced the suspended John-Joe O'Toole in Hasselbaink's only alteration from Tuesday's 1-1 draw against Shrewsbury Town as he also stuck with the same 3-5-2 formation.

But once again Northampton's inconsistency problems were on fully display at the Highbury Stadium on Saturday when they were easily beaten by relegation rivals Fleetwood, who recorded their first home win since October in the process.

"It was a very difficult afternoon," admitted Hasselbaink. "When we need to win, we draw and when we need to draw, we lose.

"I take it on me today. I wanted to go with the same side, more or less, from Tuesday because I wanted to reward the players and I thought that was the best way forward.

"Sometimes you have to give them that confidence but hindsight is a beautiful thing and I think I should have made more changes."

Kyle Dempsey's clinical finish on 18 minutes edged Fleetwood ahead and Cian Bolger's late second put the seal on their crucial victory, with the Cobblers again struggling to create chances throughout the 90 minutes.

The defeat leaves them staring down the barrel of relegation, and on what he would have done differently, Hasselbaink added: "Maybe not in terms of shape. Shaun was going to come in regardless because of the red card to John-Joe O'Toole and actually he did really well, but I should have made more changes.

"We all knew that this was always going to be a character game but we lost a goal from our throw-in and also from a corner and we work very hard on defending those moments so it's very disappointing."