Hasselbaink grateful for Sixfields support after Cobblers stop the rot

Cobblers boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink hailed the positive influence of the Sixfields crowd after his side came from behind to earn three important points as they beat Walsall 2-1 on Saturday.

Saturday, 16th December 2017, 6:19 pm
Updated Saturday, 16th December 2017, 6:25 pm
TIMELY WIN: Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink's men ended a run of six games without victory by beating Walsall on Saturday. Picture by Sharon Lucey

Calamitous defended from Northampton gifted the Saddlers a lead just 90 seconds into Saturday's contest and a few moans and groans could be heard as home fans feared another defeat.

But both Sixfields and the team rallied as Chris Long immediately headed in an equaliser and then completed the turnaround late in the first-half with a fine low strike that flew beyond visiting goalkeeper Mark Gillespie.

The second-half was something of a slog but Town dug deep and limited their visitors to very few chances before the full-time whistle brought a sigh of relief as Hasselbaink's team moved out of the Sky Bet League One relegation zone.

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"The players don't need extra pressure," said Hasselbaink on the fans. "Yes, it was a mistake and everybody could see that it was a mistake for the first goal.

"There was some miscommunication but I know that I've got good people who want to do well. Do we do everything well? No. But that's the case for everyone in any walk of life.

"We want to do it well and I think they needed that lift from the crowd and they got it. That was really pleasant to see because they were the 12th man and the atmosphere was great.

"The goal to make it 1-1 gave us another lift and it was ever so important.

"We need to try to make this place a horrible place for people to come and I mean that both on the pitch and off the pitch - the atmosphere needs to be not nice for the opposition.

"I think the supporters can help us with that and it will always give our players a lift and the atmosphere today was magnificent."

It was a feisty game and tempers boiled over in stoppage-time when Walsall's Amadou Bakayoko was deservedly given his marching orders for a reckless challenge on Sam Foley, with Cobblers midfielder Matt Crooks also sent off for his part in the aftermath.

Hasselbaink added: "It is a blow to lose Crooks as we are already we bare and he's out for two matches because it's his second red card of the season.

"We'll lose him for Blackburn and Doncaster and I could have done with him.

"I have no idea what it was for. It was a second yellow card."