JIMMY FLOYD HASSELBAINK READY FOR BLACKBURN ROVERS CHALLENGE
Read the pre match thoughts of the Cobblers boss
25 January 2018
Cobblers boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink understands the size of the task facing his side as he previews Saturday’s trip to Blackburn Rovers.
Rovers, currently second in Sky Bet League 1, are unbeaten in their last 16 matches while the Cobblers have won three games on the bounce.
"Of course it's going to be a challenge but it's one we have to take on and try to overcome," he said.
"They are a very good side and they have quality all over the pitch but as a player it should be a challenge you want to take on. We want to keep it competitive, keep it tight and try and take the game to them.
"I know Tony Mowbray really well and he is someone I respect in the game both as a footballer and as a manager. They were always going to be a team up there challenging for promotion this season but you still have to go out there and do it.
"We have got a very good feeling at the moment, it's not about being arrogant and thinking about how good we are but about capitalising on that moment.
"There were a lot of pluses last Saturday but we have also played better at times. I was very pleased with the performance and how things went but we can still improve and we have to keep working hard.
"The atmosphere was really good last Saturday and I liked it. I think it rubbed off on the players and when the atmosphere is like that it definitely gives the players a boost. We want to make it hostile and horrible for teams coming here."
Blackburn Rovers 1 Northampton Town 1 - the match report
27 January 2018
SKY BET LEAGUE 1 Saturday January 27th, 3.00pm Ewood Park
BLACKBURN ROVERS 1 Danny Graham 74
NORTHAMPTON TOWN1 John-Joe O'Toole 11
Attendance: 12,555 (943 Cobblers fans)
Blackburn: David Raya, Ryan Nyambe, Derrick Williams, Richie Smallwood (sub Adam Armstrong 57), Dominic Samuel, Danny Graham, Charlie Mulgrew (sub Amari'i Bell 15), Bradley Dack, Paul Downing, Elliott Bennett, Craig Conway (sub Jack Payne 57) Subs not used: Jayson Leutwiler, Paul Caddis, Lewis Travis, Joe Nuttall
Cobblers: Richard O’Donnell, Shay Facey, Joe Bunney (sub Gboly Ariyibi 83), Ash Taylor, Jordan Turnbull, Regan Poole, Matt Crooks (sub Sam Foley 72), Matt Grimes, Sam Hoskins (sub Daniel Powell 66), John-Joe O’Toole, Chris Long Subs not used: David Cornell, Alex Revell, Brendan Moloney, Hildeberto Pereira
Referee: Mr Anthony Backhouse
Booked: Blackburn: none Cobblers: none
10 cautions on or before 37 games; 2 match suspension 15 cautions at any time in season; 3 match suspension
Sent off: Blackburn: none Cobblers: none
Sendings off: 2 cautions in one game; 1 match suspension but cautions do not count towards above totals. Other sendings off; 1 or 3 match suspension. Extra match ban for additional sendings off.
Regan Poole replaced Sam Foley in the only change to the Cobblers side for the trip to Ewood Park. Blackburn Rovers, second in Sky Bet League 1, went into the game on a 16-match unbeaten run.
After a quiet opening ten minutes the Cobblers took the lead, Joe Bunney, playing on the left wing, crossing for John-Joe O’Toole to score with a header. It was O’Toole’s fourth goal in four games with Chris Long also heavily involved in the build-up as the Cobblers broke quickly from a Rovers corner.
The Cobblers were doing a good containing job on Rovers but it needed an important block from Ash Taylor to deny Craig Conway, who also went close with a strike from the edge of the area.
Taylor was in the right place at the right time again on 54 minutes to block a shot from Bradley Dack, the home side beginning to up the tempo. Rovers boss Tony Mowbray brought on Jack Payne and Adam Armstrong before a chance for the Cobblers, Regan Poole with a volley over the bar having been set up by O’Toole.
Daniel Powell came on for Sam Hoskins in Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s first change of the afternoon with Sam Foley then replacing Matt Crooks.
Dack blazed over under pressure from Foley but Blackburn were back on level terms on 74 minutes, Danny Graham with a close range header.
The equaliser lifted Rovers and Graham flashed a header across the face of goal with Dack lurking at the back post. Richard O’Donnell then made a good save to prevent Dack putting Rovers in front before Hasselbaink played his final card, bringing on winger Gboly Ariyibi for Joe Bunney.
There were some nervy moments late on with six minutes plus of stoppage time played but the Cobblers defended valiantly to claim a point as the game ended 1-1, a repeat scoreline from when the two sides met at Sixfields just before Christmas.
BLACKBURN MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets) SHOTS ON TARGET: (3) 8 SHOTS OFF TARGET: (1) 6 CORNERS: (7) 10 FOULS: (6) 8 CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (2) 2
COBBLERS MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets) SHOTS ON TARGET: (1) 1 SHOTS OFF TARGET: (1) 2 CORNERS: (0) 0 FOULS: (5) 11 CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (0) 1