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In opposition: Burton Albion - what they're saying

22 April 2022

A familiar figure in English football for the past 25 years, Hasselbaink arrived on these shores in the summer of 1997 to join Leeds United and would go down as one of the top strikers in the history of the Premier League.

He netted 42 goals over two seasons at Elland Road, before spending a year at Atletico Madrid where he scored 33 goals in 43 appearances.  

Chelsea then spent a club record £15million to secure his services. After four seasons at Stamford Bridge and a further 87 goals, he spent the latter years of his playing career at Middlesbrough, Charlton Athletic and Cardiff City.  

In November 2014, Hasselbaink joined Burton for his first spell in charge of the Brewers and enjoyed remarkable success. He guided them to the League Two title, posting a win percentage of more than 60 per cent.  

That drew the interest of Queens Park Rangers, who snapped him up in December 2015, while he then took charge of Northampton Town in September 2017 

Hasselbaink rejoined Burton on New Year’s Day 2021. He produced a remarkable recovery in the second half of last season to transform the Brewers from relegation certs to comfortable survival before keeping them away from danger this term. 

Hasselbaink on the Brewers’ 2-0 win against Rotherham during midweek: 

“The performance was good against a really good side. They try to put you on the back foot, and we tried to put them on the back foot as well, as much as possible. 

“We created really good chances, and we need to take them. It’s encouraging that we keep creating those chances, and overall, we managed to pin them back as they have strikers who give you problems if you let them come at you. 

“An early goal helps as it settles you down. We rode our luck a little bit in the second half, but we got our blocks in, and you have to have that – a determination to keep a clean sheet. 

“They hit the post as well, and our keeper had to make two or three good saves. They are a very good side, and they were always going to do that.” 

On the team keeping its fourth consecutive clean sheet in the win against Rotherham: 

“We gave more chances away than the previous matches, but the determination as brilliant from the lads. 

“Keeping clean sheets is a collective thing, and I like my goalkeepers not to have to make saves. 

“Eventually, they will have to, and Matej Kovar has done that against Rotherham, but you have to give credit to the whole back five for another clean sheet.” 

On the team’s mentality for the final two games of the season: 

“We want to look forward to the last two games now, as we want to end the season in the right way, so that we go into our holidays with a really good feeling, and then we will start the pre-season with that feeling. 

“That’s the plan. Let’s see if we can execute it.”

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