Hasselbaink hoping for home comfort as high-flying Millers come to town
Jimmy Floyd Hassebaink is desperate for the Cobblers to start enjoing some home comforts as his team face a huge Sixfields double header in the space of just three days.
Town entertain high-flying Rotherham United on Saturday (ko 3pm), before hosting second-placed Shrewsbury Town in a rearranged fixture next Tuesday night (ko 7.45pm).
With 10 games of the season remaining, Cobblers are one place and one point above the Sky Bet League One relegation zone, and in desperate need of some victories to ease the pressure on them.
Although unbeaten away from home in 2018, with last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Bristol Rovers the latest creditable show on the road, it has been a different story at Sixfields.
Town have dropped eight points out of the last nine on home soil, the 0-0 draw with Oxford United last time out following on from defeats to Rochdale and Gillingham, and Hasselbaink knows that form has to improve if Town are to avoid relegation.
Sixfields has not been the happiest of places in recent matches.
Sections of the home support have not been not happy with performances or some of the manager’s decisions, but Hasselbaink doesn’t want to make too much of a big deal of that, or previous results, as the fourth-placed Millers come to town.
“The cliche of this being the business end of the season is not going away, that is what it is,” said the Cobblers boss.
“Our home form, we really want to improve, and we are working very hard on it, but I don’t want to talk too much about it.
“I don’t want to highlight it too much, and concentrate too much on it, because it might affect it.
“I want us to be as relaxed as possible, and play at as high a tempo as possible against a very, very good team where we are going to have to be at our best.
“We are going to have to be at our best as a team (against Rotherham) so we can capitalise on all our good aspects.”
The Cobblers are hopeful striker Kevin van Veen, who has been out with a knee injury since February 10, will be fit for the clash with the Millers.
The January transfer window signing is expected to resume full training on Thursday, having had an injection to aid his recovery on Monday.
If the Dutchman gets through the next two days’ training without a reaction, he should be involved against the Millers.
Matt Crooks is definitely missing this weekend, and for the gtwo following fixtures, as he is suspended.
The midfielder picked up his third red card of the season at the Memorial Stadium last weekend.