Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was named the new manager of Northampton Town on Monday evening after the departure of Justin Edinburgh on Deadline Day. Hasselbaink is the fourth manager to take over the Cobblers since 2013.
Former manager Justin Edinburgh left the club after a disastrous start to the season left Northampton bottom of League 1 without a single point. Edinburgh ended his reign on a lower win percentage than previous manager Rob Page.
Hasselbaink was the first choice for chairman Kelvin Thomas, with other speculated names including Chris Powell and Brackley Town manager Kevin Wilkin. Thomas said in an interview with The Chronicle and Echo that “We had two targets that we wanted to speak to initially and following discussions with myself and then other members of the board, Jimmy became our top choice so we are pleased to be able to secure his services. He is an inspirational leader, someone who has had success at this level in the recent past and we think he is a very good fit here.”
Hasselbaink’s last managerial position came at Championship outfit Queens Park Rangers where he left after just 11 months in charge. During that time he was able to attain a 12th place finish in 2016 with the sale of star striker Charlie Austin being a key factor in the fall of the club which led to his departure. Before this, Hasselbaink enjoyed a successful spell at Burton Albion. He joined the Brewers in November 2014 and in his first season, guided the club to the League 2 title. This league also contained a Northampton Town side who finished 12th under Chris Wilder. The following season, Burton Albion continued their magnificent form and were placed at the top of the League 1 table by the time Hasselbaink left for the job at Loftus Road. Hasselbaink was able to attain a 61.11% win percentage during his time at Burton Albion.
When joining Northampton, Hasselbaink held a press conference to formally introduce himself to the media and the Cobblers fans. Hasselbaink stated:
“I will bring a lot of energy, and it is very important for me that the people around me enjoy the journey and there are smiles on people’s faces. We might lose a few matches, but we have to make sure we are doing things with joy. The players need to understand that they are in the best job in the world, because there is no better job. I think if you can jump out of bed, go to training and work in the outside world and put a sweat on, it is the best thing ever. So why do that with restraint? Smile and enjoy it. When you enjoy it, you can get so much more out of an individual, so I hope i can bring that, with success obviously. I hope we can win as many matches as possible, because at the end of the day it is about winning matches.”
Hasselbaink’s first game in charge will be against Doncaster Rovers on Saturday. Doncaster sit in 13th place and will be hoping to build on their fairly impressive start to the 2017/18 season. For Northampton this is a chance to start afresh and a win would certainly put the smiles back on faces around Sixfields. September is a very busy month and a few points would certainly be a nice way to begin the reign of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.