The Chelsea legend has taken over at the League One outfit, but it came after the transfer window slammed shut
JIMMY FLOYD HASSELBAINK claims he had a handy solution to Chelsea’s Diego Costa conundrum.
Unfortunately the Dutch legend was appointed Northampton Town’s manager AFTER the transfer window slammed shut – denying Diego a convenient halfway house at SIXFIELDS to salvage his career.
“I was hoping Chelsea would have called me to say I could loan Costa and borrow him for Northampton” joked the Chelsea old boy.
“But I haven’t had that call from Antonio Conte yet. It’s a pity because they don’t seem to want him.”
Hasselbaink should be the perfect person to advise Chelsea’s moody Blue as Northampton Town’s new manager was a fans’ favourite with both Chelsea and Atletico Madrid in his playing days – just like Costa.
However for once a Dutchman bit his tongue and decided NOT to speak his mind about Costa’s uncertain Stamford Bridge future.
“I don’t want to talk about Diego Costa,” he said. “It’s not for me to tell Chelsea how to run their business. I’m at Northampton Town and this is special for me, I only want to talk about Northampton.”
So for once in his life the former TV pundit talked pure Cobblers – and still managed to impress.
Unlike other high-profile former players Hasselbaink doesn’t believe the game owes him a living and that he should be managing Costa for real at Chelsea – or trying to sign him for Atletico Madrid either.
While Sol Campbell told the world he was an ideal fit to manage Arsenal BEFORE he had gained his Uefa Pro licence, Hasselbaink doesn’t expect or want any favours.
He proved that by rolling up his sleeves when he hung up his boots to manage Royal Antwerp in Belgium before steering unfashionable Burton Albion from League Two to the top of League One – and achievement which saw him head-hunted by QPR in December 2015.
However his time at Loftus Road ended 10 months ago after he struggled to overcome the crippling debts and uncertainty which undermined his work at the basket-case London club.
“I learned a lot at QPR but it’s in the past, it’s gone,” he said. “We take the pluses and move on. I wish them all the best – that’s it.
“Does it look as if that experience has knocked my confidence? I am here with a smile on myself enjoying myself. Hopefully we can put something magnificent down here at Northampton.
“That’s what I’m looking forward to, starting on Saturday at home to Doncaster.
“I have been up against Darren Ferguson before but I don’t know him that well. Obviously I know of his dad – but we all do. But I know he likes to play football in the proper way and I like that.”
Hasselbaink knows he has his work cut out as the Cobblers have yet to win in six attempts this season and it’s been 12 matches, stretching back to last season, since they won a league match.
However when he took over unfashionable Burton Albion they were a mid-table Second Division outfit and he took them up to League One and left them sitting top of the table when QPR came calling.
He insists he has more to work with at Northampton and said: “My job is to put the confidence back into them.
“There is a lot of talent here but we all know talent is not enough. You have to have the ability to work hard and be and dedicated and that’s where it starts. Then your talent will shine.
“The focus at the moment is to be organised and determined to be what we want to be and to be together and make sure we’re a chain that cannot be broken.
“That enables us to be competitive and if you’re competitive you will win games, and when you win games you get up the league.
“I’ve had setbacks as a manager. I think you learn more and it makes you a better person for the job. You learn a lot about yourself and that patience you have to have later to be in a top job.
“I had to start low as a footballer myself and I’m not afraid to start low as a manager – no problem whatsoever.”
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