Hasselbaink not thinking about transfer window business as Cobblers head to Pompey
Boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink says there is no point in anybody at the Cobblers thinking about who is going to be arriving at Sixfields or heading out of the exit door in the January transfer window.
The Cobblers are set to be busy as they try to strengthen and refresh a squad that has struggled in the first half of the Sky Bet League One season, but they still have the little matter of two very important matches before any business can be done.
Town travel to play-off chasing Portsmouth on Saturday and then host leaders Wigan Athletic on New Year’s Day, and there will be no reinforcements in place for either of those fixtures.
So it is down to the players in place to try and get results from those two tough looking encounters, and that is what Hasselbaink says he is concentrating on.
Asked about bringing players in during the window, Hasselbaink said; “It’s not important at this time.
“We need to concentrate on Portsmouth and try to get maximum points and then think about the next one. January is still far away.”
The Cobblers will travel to the south coast on the back of a disappointing 3-0 defeat at Doncaster Rovers.
It was a real downer of a performance after two encouraging home mathces against Walsall and Blackburn Rovers, but Hasselbaink believes his players will shake off the loss and will be ready for the Pompey showdown.
“It won’t be a problem to motivate, I think we will motivate ourselves and that shouldn’t be a problem,” said the Town manager.
“We’ve got some difficult matches ahead of us and we need to regroup and try to improve performances.”
The Cobblers have already played Portsmouth twice this season, winning 3-1 in the league at Sixfields in September, before losing 2-0 at Fratton Park when the teams met in the Checkatrade Trophy second round clash earlier this month.
That was a game played in something a surreal atmosphere, with just one stand open for fans and only 1,780 turning up.
A crowd closer to 19,000 is expected at the weekend, with Pompey aiming to maintain a brilliant run of form that has seen them win six of their past eight league one matches, and move up to seventh in the table, and level on points with sixth-placed Peterborough United.
They have had a mixed festive period so far, losing 2-0 at second-placed Shrewsbury Town on Saturday but then beating AFC Wimbledon 2-1 at home in front of 18,644 supporters on Boxing Day.
Boss Kenny Jackett had been targeting a maximum Cristmas and New Year points haul, and although that is now not possible, he is still hopeful it will be a positive time for Pompey.
‘As a manager, I was looking at four games in a 10 or 11-day period and 12 points to play for and saw it as a good opportunity,” he said.
“We’ve got three points out of a potential six so far, with two games to go.
“If we want to chase the top six then all of the big clubs at the top will get a good points total out of this particular period. It’s a key to the season and an opportunity.”