Hasselbaink hails ‘leader’ O’Donnell, and explains Ingram decision

NEW SIGNING - Richard O'Donnell (Picture: Pete Norton)
NEW SIGNING - Richard O'Donnell (Picture: Pete Norton)

Boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink says new goalkeeper Richard O’Donnell has the leadership qualities the Cobblers are going to require in their fight against relegation this season.

And the Town manager has also outlined his reasons for cutting short the season-long loan spell of Matt Ingram, who has returned to Queens Park Rangers after making 20 appearances for the Cobblers.

Cobblers boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink

Cobblers boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink

O’Donnell has put pen to paper on a two-and-a-half year deal at Sixfields following his free transfer switch from Sky Bet League One rivals Rotherham United, and he becomes the fourth contracted goalkeeper at the club, alongside David Cornell, Luke Coddington and James Goff.

Hasselbaink says he believes O’Donnell is the right age and has the right amount of experience the Cobblers need, with the 29-year-old having played more than 250 matches, mainly at league one level, although he did have a spell in the Chanpionship with Bristol City.

The Cobblers boss also made it clear he didn’t want to continue having a loan players as his number one, as there is always the risk of a recall later in the season.

“Richard is an excellent keeper who has extensive experience of playing in the Championship and league one,” said Hasselbaink.

Richard has a great attitude, he will be one of the leaders and a good influence in the dressing room and I am sure he will do well for us

Cobblers boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink

“He has more than 250 appearances under his belt and he is a good age for a keeper.

“Richard has a great attitude, he will be one of the leaders and a good influence in the dressing room and I am sure he will do well for us.”

Hasselbaink has been delighted with the form of Ingram, who he previously managed at QPR, but felt the situation with his loan, and that QPR had a recall option, was not ideal.

“Matt has done really well for us and we would like to thank him for his efforts,” said the Town manager.

“It is never ideal having a loan player as your goalkeeper as you always run the risk of losing a player who is on loan, so we wanted to investigate the possibility of making a permanent goalkeeper signing.

“We have been able to progress that and are delighted to be able to bring Richard in, and so the natural conclusion of that is that Matt will return to his parent club with our thanks and best wishes.”

O’Donnell is now in line to make his Cobblers debut in Saturday’s Sky Bet League One trip to Bradford City.