Hasselbaink remains calm and upbeat as he urges Cobblers to ‘stay positive’ ahead of crunch week

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and assistant Dean Austin in discussion during Saturday's defeat. Picture by Sharon Lucey
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and assistant Dean Austin in discussion during Saturday's defeat. Picture by Sharon Lucey

Cobblers boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has urged his side to ‘stay positive and keep believing’ as they take their search for goals and points to Rochdale on Tuesday evening for the first of two key fixtures in the space of four days.

Northampton are currently second bottom in Sky Bet League One and four points adrift of safety ahead of Tuesday’s trip to 20th-placed Rochdale, which is followed by a visit to 22nd-placed Gillingham on Saturday.

Two positive results are required given that the Cobblers have not won or even scored in any of their last six league fixtures, otherwise they could find themselves falling out of contact with the teams above them.

“Look, we need to turn it around quickly because we need to stay close to that pack above us,” admitted Hasselbaink.

“We need to keep believing and they must stay positive and keep working and knocking on that door.

“Hopefully, that door will open very, very soon but it’s important to keep working.”

Hasselbaink believes it’s a positive to have another game so quickly following Saturday’s latest defeat when Town were beaten 1-0 by AFC Wimbledon at Sixfields.

“The quick turnaround helps itself,” he added. “We need to keep on being bubbly and they need to keep seeing that I’m believing in them and I do and we will score goals.

“It’s very important that we stay together. It’s a tough one but it’s one when we get out of it, then it will flourish.”

The search for goals remains a constant source of huge frustration for Hasselbaink, all the more so given his record as a player, but it’s at the other end where he knows his side must also improve.

Despite Saturday’s latest defeat, however, he was generally pleased with their performance.

“It’s very frustrating but more frustrating that we are conceding goals because if you concede goals, you have less chance of winning,” he continued.

“I’m actually happy with the performance, really happy, and I can’t fault them.

“I’m not happy with the result but it will be a case of when one goes in, it will flow. It’s just one of those things.

“But until that one goes in, we are suffering a little bit and you have to be prepared to suffer as much as you need to suffer.”