Goals the goal for Hasselbaink as Cobblers square up to high-flying Rotherham

John-Joe O'Toole and the Cobblers were left frustrated during the 0-0 draw with Oxford United last month
John-Joe O'Toole and the Cobblers were left frustrated during the 0-0 draw with Oxford United last month

Cobblers boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has called on his players to recreate their performance in their most recent home game against Oxford United when they take on Rotherham United this weekend - just with a few goals thrown in!

Town are without a victory in their past three Sixfields encounters, losing to Rochdale and Gillingham, before a 0-0 draw with the Us last time out.

Cobblers boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink

Cobblers boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink

It was a much-improved performance on the previous two defeats, but there was still unrest among the home fans as Town failed to capitalise on their early dominance and chances, and had to settle for just a point.

With Town still just a point above the relegation zone with only 10 matches left to play, the need for a win is becoming ever more urgent.

But Hasselbaink believes another showing as good as the one against Oxford gives Town a great chance of doing that - even though Rotherham are a team in strong form.

The Millers had gone 14 matches unbeaten until suffering defeats to Rochdale and MK Dons this week, but they still sit fourth in the Sky Bet League One table, and Hasselbaink said: “Rotherham have been on a terrific run, and the way they are doing it is they work very hard.

I was very happy with the last performance at home against Oxford, and we need another performance of that ilk, only this time we get some goals

Cobblers boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink

“They try to wear you down and they keep on going like a really big locomotive, they just keep on going, keep on going and keep on going.

“We will have to stay with them, and give them even more than that and show them that we cannot be worn down.

“I was very happy with the last performance at home against Oxford, and we need another performance of that ilk, only this time we get some goals.

“It is the hardest thing, it is the most difficult thing, but you have to try to really give it a go.

“If the performance is right, then we have a bigger chance to do that.”

The relegation picture became even more murky for Town on Tuesday, with MK Dons closing to within four points of the Cobblers with their win over Rotherham.

Rochdale also picked up another point to move to within six points of Town with three games in hand, and fourth-from-bottom Fleetwood are a point behind Hasselbaink’s men with one game in hand.

The Cobblers travel to Fleetwood next Saturday for what looks like being a massive clash, but before then they have the little matter of Saturday’s showdown with fourth-placed Rotherham, before second-placed Shrewsbury come to town next Tuesday.

And Hasselbaink insists he is only focusing on those matches, and what his players can do.

“As we said, we can’t control other results, unfortunately,” said the Town boss.

“We have to control us and what we can do, and we can try to make sure we have a good performance, and then what happens with others, happens.

“We need to try to get things right at home.”