Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has promised Cobblers fans that he and his team will ‘do everything in our power’ to make them proud in Easter Monday’s derby clash at rivals Peterborough United.
Town supporters will head to the ABAX Stadium more in hope than expectation after a torrid run of form that has seen them fail to win any of their past eight league matches, culminating in the worst of the lot against Charlton Athletic on Good Friday when thrashed 4-0.
I 100 per cent want to be in the team again. As long as I’m available for selection I always want to play and it’s up to the manager who he picks.David Buchanan
Fans have not been afraid to vocalise their disappointment at Hasselbaink and his team, who sit third from bottom in League One ahead of their encounter with seventh-placed, play-off chasing Peterborough.
The Cobblers have already suffered one heavy defeat at the hands of Posh, now led by Steve Evans following Grant McCann’s recent sacking, after going down 4-1 at Sixfields in August, a result that effectively signalled the end of Justin Edinburgh’s reign as Town manager.
“It’s a massive game,” admitted Hasselbaink. “We will do everything in our power to produce a good performance on the pitch and make the fans proud and give them what they deserve.
“On the other hand, we need them and the boys need them. It will be so much appreciated by the players. Even though they think otherwise, I had boys crying in the dressing room (on Friday) so they do care, they really care.”
Hasselbaink’s team selection at Peterborough will make for interesting reading, particularly in the left-back spot after he recalled club captain David Buchanan to the side for Northampton’s defeat to Charlton.
“I 100 per cent want to be in the team again,” said Buchanan, who replaced Joe Bunney for his first start in nearly three months. “As long as I’m available for selection I always want to play and it’s up to the manager who he picks.
“There’s no better time for us to turn a disappointing result around and get the fans back behind us. I have no doubt they’ll travel in their numbers to Peterborough and they’ll get behind the team, whoever plays, and we’ve just got to reward them.”
Goalkeeper Richard O’Donnell is also hoping Town’s supporters stick with the team, saying: “Between everyone, we’ve got to come together and find something positive.
“We go into every game trying to win and that’s been no different throughout the season.
“We know it’ll be a tough game but we’ve got believe we can go there and get a result and a win. Draws are probably not good enough anymore so we have to aim for the three points at Peterborough.”
The atmosphere at Sixfields on Good Friday threatened to turn ugly from the moment Ben Reeves put Charlton into a 14th minute lead, with loud boos coming at both half-time and full-time.
“I can understand their frustration because we aren’t performing on the pitch and they deserve better,” admitted O’Donnell.
“We haven’t given them anything to cheer about and on Friday there was nothing positive at all so I totally understand where they’re coming from and that all boils down to us.
“It’s up to us to give them something to cheer about but our performances haven’t been good enough so the frustration is understandable.
“The fans are the heart and soul of the football club and they want what’s best to the club.
“I know they’ll come out and support us in numbers like they have done all season and credit to them because they keep coming and keep supporting us and we’ve got to return it to them.”