Hasselbaink confirms Cobblers players will be heading for Sixfields exit door

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s main focus in the January transfer window to date has been on recruitment, but he has made it clear players are also going to be heading out of the Sixfields exit door.

Five new players have been signed in the first 11 days of the window, with goalkeeper Richard O’Donnell, defenders Shay Facey and Jordan Turnbull, midfielder Jack Bridge and winger Hildeberto Pereira all coming in.

I don’t want the squad to be too big, so there will be a few that will go

Cobblers boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink

Players have left too, with goalkeeper Matt Ingram having his loan cancelled, and Lewis McGugan and Ryan McGivern being allowed to leave at the expiration of their short-term contracts.

The squad currently stands at 33 strong, but four of those are goalkeepers, Leon Lobjoit and Joe Iaciofano are both out on loan, and Aaron Pierre, Aaron Phillips and Leon Barnett are nursing long-term injuries.

That still leave 24 fit outfield players training more or less every day at Moulton College, and with more to be signed on in the next few weeks, Hasselbaink was asked if there is a danger the Town squad is simply getting too big?

“I don’t want the squad to be too big, so there will be a few that will go,” confirmed the Cobblers manager.

“It is up to them obviously if they want to go or not, but I will talk to a few to let them go, and that is unfortunately how it works.

“I have to balance the books as well, so we have to let a few leave and that is one of those things.

“There is interest in a few of the players, but some of those I am not prepared to let go, and some will have to just wait and see what happens.”

A problem for Hasselbaink is that, all bar a handful of players, are contracted to the club for at least another 18 months which makes it more tricky to move them on, but he says some are going to have to go if they want to get game time.

Asked if it made it more difficult due to the players’ contractual situations, Hasselbaink said: “The majority of those players (under longer contracts) are staying.

“We are going to let a few go, or we are going to tell a few ‘look, you’re not going to play and you need to play, so try to find another club’.

“That is the nature of the business, because you also want to work with 22 players.

“When you have got 28 or 29, then there will be people in another group because you have to separate it, and I don’t think that’s good for the group.”