Hasselbaink says McGivern will provide defensive cover and competition

New Cobblers signing Ryan McGivern (Picture: Pete Norton)
New Cobblers signing Ryan McGivern (Picture: Pete Norton)

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink says he has signed Ryan McGivern to add some much-needed cover and competition to the Cobblers’ central defensive department.

Ash Taylor and Aaron Pierre have built up an excellent partnership in recent weeks, but the cover if either of them were to be injured or suspended is thin.

Cobblers boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink

Cobblers boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink

Leon Barnett is still out of action with an Achilles injury, while Manchester United loan man Regan Poole, initially signed by Justin Edinburgh as a central defender, has become a key cog in the Cobblers team in the heart of the midfield.

Hasselbaink has been concerned at the workload being undertaken by Taylor and Pierre, and also the lack of players snapping at their heels for selection, and believes Northern Ireland international McGivern will do that.

“Ryan has been training with us for a few weeks and has done well,” said the Cobblers boss.

“I feel we need to strengthen the squad in the central defensive areas and he will come in to do that.

I feel we need to strengthen the squad in the central defensive areas and Ryan will come in to do that.

Cobblers boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink

“With Regan Poole playing a lot of his football in midfield recently and with Leon Barnett recovering from injury, while Ash Taylor and Aaron Pierre have done very well, they have had to play a lot of football recently and haven’t had the benefit of competition for their places.

“Ryan coming in provides that, and with him having been on the training ground with us for a while we have had the chance to have a look at him and he has already fitted in well with the group.”

McGivern has signed a short-term deal with the Cobblers, with his contract expiring in January.

He hasn’t played a competitive match since Febraury 14, when he turned out for Shrewsbury in a 2-1 loss at Peterborough United.

McGivern was in the Shrews team beaten 4-2 by the Cobblers at the New Meadow in October, 2016,

He began his career in Manchester City, but made just one substitute appearance in his five years at the Etihad.

That came in April, 2011, when he played the final 20 minutes of a 5-0 Premier League win over Sunderland, with his team-mates that day including Yaya Toure, Carlose Tevez, Mario Balotelli, David Silva, Vincent Kompany and Joe Hart

McGivern enjoyed several loan spells in his time with City, playing for Morecambe, Leicester City, Walsall, Crystal Palace, Bristol City and Hibernian, before signing for the Edinburgh side on a free transfer in the summer of 2013.

After two full seasons at Easter Road he headed south to sign for Port Vale.

After two seasons at Vale Park, he made another free transfer move to Shrewsbury Town in the summer of 2016, but he failed to hold down a regular place in the team, and left the club in August. He has been a free agent ever since.