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HASSELBAINK HAS LUXURY OF DEFENSIVE OPTIONS

12 February 2021

BURTON Albion will be looking to build on last week’s victory over Hull with another three points at Northampton tomorrow.

The Cobblers parted company with manager Keith Curle after losing to relegation rivals Wigan on Tuesday but Hasselbaink doesn’t want his team to be concerned about the upheaval at Northampton

He said: “We have prepared as much as we can for this match. They have a new caretaker manager and that may mean things change but I don’t know that, and I can’t speculate. We can only work on what we know and prepare the team, be confident and look to get the three points.

“We can’t worry about how they react; we need to make sure we are right and react in the right way. We need to take the game to them, and it has to be about us. We will prepare on our strengths and work from that.”

The Brewers will be hoping that the weather doesn’t intervene again after the frustration of a last-minute postponement of Tuesday’s game at Blackpool due to a quickly freezing pitch.

Albion have now played less games then all the other teams at the foot of the League One table so is Hasselbaink concerned about having to play catch up on fixtures?

He said: “Only things that I can affect concern me. Things I can’t control don’t concern me. We will have a spell of games now where we will play every Tuesday and Saturday, so it helps that we have a bigger squad. The way we are living with Covid, and the weather, games are going to be postponed.

“We really wanted to play at Blackpool, but it wasn’t meant to be and hopefully tomorrow the game is on and we can take three points.”

Hasselbaink will have options at centre half after signing Michael Mancienne this week and getting fitness reports on two defenders returning from injury.


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Hasselbaink said: “Michael is the kind of lad you can throw back in straight away, but I must say that the boys who have been playing in the back four have done well. Yes, I’m always looking to strengthen my team, but you also have to be loyal to your players. Michael will breathe behind their backs as he wants that position. Mentally he is ready and it’s a decision for me to make.

“Michael Bostwick is back and John-Joe O’Toole has been training as well so he is also available. In the last game John Brayford played centre half and did really well so it’s a luxury I have and I’m happy to have to make that difficult decision.”

Kieran Wallace is recovering from his injury but is only rated as 50-50 by Hasselbaink for tomorrow, while Colin Daniel is struggling with a nerve problem in his back.

Hasselbaink said: “Colin is a longer one, it’s an awkward one.”

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