Cobblers boss Hasselbaink already has sights set on January targets

Lewis McGugan is one of two players Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has signed on short-term contracts
Lewis McGugan is one of two players Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has signed on short-term contracts

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has confirmed he has already targeted the players he wants to sign to strengthen the Cobblers team in the January transfer window.

And the Town boss has also admitted players are going to have to leave the club to ensure the squad size at Sixfields stays within manageable proportions.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink

Hasselbaink inherited a big squad from predecessor Justin Edinburgh, and has added free transfers Lewis McGugan and Ryan McGivern, whose short-term contracts expire in January.

It means he currently has 29 senior players at his disposal, but still Town find themselves in the bottom four of the Sky Bet League One table as the season approaches the halfway point.

Hasselbaink is aware of his squad’s shortcomings, and will try to rectify the situation when the transfer window opens on New Year’s Day.

The Town boss was also quick to stress he has been delighted with the efforts of every single one of the players he has inherited from Edinburgh, it’s just that some of them don’t fit into the style of play he wants to impress on the team in the future.

The thing is, Justin (Edinburgh) was before me here and he had his ideas how he wanted to play, and with what kind of players. Now I might have different ideas on how I want to play, and certain players might not fit in with my ideas

Cobblers boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink

“I have a wish-list,” admitted the Cobblers boss when asked if he had already set his sights on the new players he feels he needs.

“I think the chairman has already come out and said there is money, and that we don’t have to let players go to get players in.

“Obviously, we need to do something, and we need to bring players in, but the squad is already big.”

It is going to be a bit of a balancing act for Hasselbaink, especially if any of the players he may want to move on have lengthy spells left on their Sixfields contracts.

“I don’t want too many players, so I think we will see players go, or I will make certain players available, and that is just the nature of the game,” said the Dutchman.

“I will try to get certain players, I can’t give you any names, but obviously I wouldn’t be doing my job properly if I didn’t have targets already.

“That process has to always be happening if you want to have a successful club.

“Even when January is finished, you are already starting for the summer straight away.”

Hasselbaink took charge of the Cobblers in the opening week of September, just days after the summer transfer window closed.

He has had to work with the group of players put together by Edinburgh, and although he’s not doubting their quality, he admits that is not an ideal situation.

“I love working with the players, and I have no problem with any of them, and I have nothing bad to say about one of my players,” said the Cobblers boss.

“But the thing is, Justin was before me here and he had his ideas how he wanted to play, and with what kind of players.

“Now I might have different ideas on how I want to play, and certain players might not fit in with my ideas.

“That doesn’t mean they are bad players, it doesn’t mean the player is not a good one, it means the player doesn’t fit with the style I want to go to, and thay that is where the problem is a little bit.”

On the face of it, January could be gearing up to be a busy time both on the way in and out of Sixfields, but there was a word of caution from Hasselbaink when asked if he thinks that is going to be the case.

“Let’s see, it all depends because January is a very difficult month to get the right players,” said the Cobblers manager, who also stressed he won’t be making signings for the sake of it.

“It is a very difficult month to get the players that you want, and I don’t want to just get a player for getting a player.

“He has to bring something to the club, and also we need to try to put assets into the club.

“We need to bring in players that will bring value to the club, and in the years to come we might be able to sell, because we are still a club that needs to sell players.”