Hasselbaink hoping Cobblers have learned lessons from rout at the hands of Rovers
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is not going to forget his Cobblers team's 6-0 Sixfields humiliation at the hands of Bristol Rovers in a hurry.
But you won’t hear the Town boss talking about a ‘revenge mission’ for that nightmare October afternoon.
The Cobblers travel to Bristol for the return fixture this Saturday, and although Hasselbaink concedes he will ‘always remember’ what happened that day, he isn’t going to let any thoughts of setting records straight cloud his judgment as he prepares his team for what is going to be a tough test.
“You do always remember days like that, but they should not affect you,” said the Town manager.
“We should think about Saturday’s match positively, it is another opportunity for us. We all start from scratch and we can hopefully make it a positive ourselves this weekend.”
A plus point for the Cobblers as they head to the west country is that only a handful of the current players were involved in the drubbing earlier in the campaign, a match that saw Rovers score six times in the space of just 49 minutes.
Of those likely to be involved at the Memorial Stadium, only Brendan Moloney, Ash Taylor, Sam Foley and Sam Hoskins played a part in October.
So the scarring and any kind of psychological hangover will be minimal, but Hasselbaink says he, those involved and the new boys will ‘learn from it’.
“A few of the players are still here, but it is more or less a different team,” said the Cobblers boss.
“I think what happened that day, we had to learn from it, and it is still in the back of our minds.
“We had to learn from it, and we want that day to never happen again. They were the better team, they deserved the win, and they absolutely bossed the game.
“They showed us how to play football.”
Rovers have been something of bogey team in recent times for Town, with the match previous to the 6-0 Sixfields hammering being a 5-0 thrashing at the Memorial Stadium in January, 2017.
That match was just 13 months ago and proved to be the last of Rob Page’s managerial reign, but only one current player involved that day is likely to play any part this weekend, and that is Hoskins.
On the injury front, striker Kevin van Veen is rated ‘touch and go’ to make the trip to Bristol game as he recovers from his knee injury.
The Dutchman is back in light training, but won’t be risked unless he is 100 per cent fit.