Chairman Thomas pleased with Cobblers progress under boss Hasselbaink

HAPPY MAN - Cobblers chairman Kelvin Thomas
HAPPY MAN - Cobblers chairman Kelvin Thomas

Chairman Kelvin Thomas believes the Cobblers are beginning to reap the rewards of the hard work that manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and his players are putting in on the training ground.

Town were 1-0 victors over Blackpool on Saturday to record their first home win since September 12, and complete back-to-back victories for only the season time this season.

Cobblers boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and assistant manager Dean Austin

Cobblers boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and assistant manager Dean Austin

The Cobblers are unbeaten in three matches, and have drawn level on points with fifth-from-bottom AFC Wimbledon, when a little over a week ago they were four points adrift of the safety line.

It is the first time that Thomas has spoken publicly about Hasselbaink since he appointed the former Queens Park Rangers manager as the Town boss, following the sacking of Justin Edinburgh, and the chairman is pleased with the progress the new man and his assistant Dean Austin are making.

There have been a few tough times already under Hasselbaink, most notably that 6-0 home defeat to Bristol Rovers, but the fortunes have taken a real upturn with seven points claimed out of the past nine, and Thomas said: “Jimmy has been good

“I really wanted to let him get bedded in before I started talking about him too much, and making too many comments.

“I think what we are starting to see is that Jimmy has a very, very strong work ethic, and he imposes that on his teams”

Cobblers chairman Kelvin Thomas

“I wanted to let results take care of themselves, as it were.

“He came in and had a really good start, and then lost a couple of really key players through injury I think, and then struggled a bit, with the timing of the games, etc.

“I think what we are starting to see is that Jimmy has a very, very strong work ethic, and he imposes that on his teams.

“What we are starting to see is some of that bearing fruit a little bit, and hopefully that continues.

“I am an early riser, and I’m normally in the office at 7.30am when I am around, and to see your manager in before you sometimes is heartening.”

Thomas believes hard-working Hasselbaink has been hindered by injuries to important players, such as Matt Crooks and Chris Long, as well as the likes of long-term absentees Sam Hoskins and John-Joe O’Toole, who are only now starting to get back up to full speed.

“One of the frustrations for Jimmy, and for the club, that a lot of our forward players, or our players that would typically score goals, were out injured, or in Alex Revell’s case, suspended,” said the chairman.

“Even with Sammy, he was just coming back from injury, so while being available, he probably wasn’t available for 90 minutes.

“It’s the same with John-Joe. I think he has had a great impact, as John-Joe typically does and Jimmy has said the same thing, but is he available for 90 minutes each week at the moment? Probably not, he is still getting back into it.

“I think now, with the work that has been put in on the training ground by Jimmy, Dean, and the rest of the staff, and I understand they are working a lot harder, hopefully we will start moving up the table.”

Town take a break from Sky Bet League One action this weekend as they face Scunthorpe United in the FA Cup first round, and Thomas is looking forward to the tie, particularly now the Cobblers seem to have latched on to a bit of form.

“League form is always important, and the points you pick up, and I think Jimmy’s return of 15 points from 12 games, on the back of no points from four, is a good return,” he said.

“It is a decent return, but I know Jimmy feels there is a lot more to do.

“The FA Cup is always good to give yourself a break from the league, and we are looking forward to Scunthorpe coming down.

“It probably wasn’t the tie that Scunthorpe or we wanted in the first round of the FA Cup, but we will take on allcomers now.

“We are pretty strong as a unit, and the lads are very motivated.”