Each and every Northampton player has been warned to buck up their ideas or face the consequences by manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink following Saturday’s disastrous 6-0 home defeat to Bristol Rovers, the heaviest Town have suffered during their 23 years playing at Sixfields.
The Cobblers squad underwent major reconstruction over the summer when 15 players joined the club, including several on long-term contracts plus a number loanees, while a handful departed for pastures new.
Lewis McGugan was also signed on a free transfer last week but despite the major overhaul and understandable excitement it generated, the team have failed to live up to exceptions on the pitch.
Their difficult start was briefly lifted by Hasselbaink’s appointment at the start of September but a recent run of poor form, culminating in Saturday’s wretched 6-0 humiliation against the Pirates, has left Town sitting in the Sky Bet League One drop zone with only eight points from 12 games.
Hasselbaink was left visibly shocked and somewhat bemused by the manner of his side’s performance on Saturday, and now the responsibility falls on him to seek answers and somehow turn their fortunes around.
“I’ve found out a lot about my players (on Saturday),” he admitted. “Everybody is playing for their future, it’s as simple as that.
“I don’t care if they have two or three years left on their contracts, everybody is playing for their future here.
“We need to know that and they need to accept that because Saturday is just not acceptable.”
This coming week will be the first Northampton have had without a midweek game since Hasselbaink was appointed, and he will look to fully utilise the time he has on the training pitch..
“Yes, this week we’ve got more time on the training pitch and we will have to go back to basics to get things right and get things organised,” he added.
I don’t care if they have two or three years left on their contracts, everybody is playing for their future here.
“Saturday shocked me a bit. I think we were not on the front foot enough, the spaces were too big and I thought we didn’t close them down well enough.
“If you’re going to sit off good players, you’ll have big problems, and we need to get back to our better form as soon as possible.”