Boss Wilder delighted with Cobblers’ defensive options

NEW BOY - Rod McDonald
NEW BOY - Rod McDonald

Boss Chris Wilder says he is ‘delighted’ with the summer rebuilding of the Cobblers defence.

Centre-back Rod McDonald agreed to a one-year contract on Tuesday to become the third new defender to sign for the club since the end of last season, joining left-back Dave Buchanan and right-back Josh Lelan.

Those three join Brendan Moloney, Ryan Cresswell, Zander Diamond and Evan Horwood in the defensive unit, as well as new goalkeepers Adam Smith and Ryan Clarke, and Wilder feels he is now well covered in that area.

The Town boss, who made a bid for Southend United’s Luke Prosser last month, isn’t ruling out making an extra defensive signing, but he says he would be happy to go into the Sky Bet League Two campaign with what he has,

“We have got seven players now for four slots, and we have got three centre-halves,” said the Cobblers boss.

“So who knows what the future brings? And we never know what’s round the corner with the talk of a takeover, but I am dealing with the budget I have now.

“Am I happy with the three centre-halves we have got? Yes, definitely.

“We have got good balance, we have good pace about us because Rod brings pace into the back two, and he has got a good left foot,

“That means we have the balance of playing a left-footer and right-footer, and if we want to go to the three as well.

“We would like Evan (who has yet to feature in pre-season after a summer groin operation) to get back fit, but I have to say I am delighted with the work that we have done and the players we have got, especially in the backline.”

McDonald, who started his career as a trainee at Stoke City, has yet to play a Football League match with the senior football he has played being with non-League Hereford United and Telford.

But Wilder is in no doubt the 23-year-old will make the step up in class, and believes he and assistant Alan Knill may have unearthed a ‘little gem’ in McDonald.

“We can’t compete with some of these teams that are chucking cash about left, right and centre,” said Wilder.

“We have to go and unearth little gems, which we have done before, and we are confident we can do that again.

“We feel comfortable that we have got one in Rod, and he will definitely improve and progress with us in his time here.”