Herd eager to get going at Latics

Chris Herd
Chris Herd

ASTON Villa defender Chris Herd has become Malky Mackay’s second signing at Wigan Athletic.

As revealed in the Wigan Evening Post, the Australian international has joined the club on loan from Aston Villa until the end of the season.

He’s made 42 appearances for the Midlands outfit since joining them as a 16-year-old in 2005.

Herd, 25, has also spent time on loan at Port Vale, Wycombe Wanderers, Lincoln City and Bolton Wanderers.

Latics manager Malky Mackay said: “I’m delighted that Chris has been able to join us on loan until the end of the season, he’s a player I’ve looked at a lot over a period of time. I feel that his energy, his athleticism and his tenacity will be things that can really help us out.

“He’s got Premier League and Football League experience and he’s another young player who wants to kick on at our club and solidify a position here, so I’m delighted we’ve managed to get him.”

Herd becomes Mackay’s second loan signing of the January transfer window following on from Liam Ridgewell.

Meanwhile, Callum McManaman looks set to head out the exit door at the DW Stadium following Roger Espinoza, Ben Watson and Shaun Maloney who have all left the club.

The winger is understood to be on the verge of joining Premier League outfit West Bromwich Albion.

Social media was last night sent into a frenzy with reports Tony Pulis had finally landed the Latics winger at the third time of asking following two failed bids.

The Evening Post understands such talk was premature, with no deal yet in place and QPR, Hull and at least one other Premier League side still hoping to sign him.

Rangers boss Harry Redknapp was at the DW Stadium on Saturday to see McManaman first-hand, leaving moments after the 23-year-old’s 65th-minute substitution in Wigan’s 1-0 defeat to Huddersfield.

Nevertheless, the Baggies remain in pole position for his signature, although the level of interest in McManaman looks to have bumped up the fee to near the £5million mark.

Latics boss Malky Mackay admitted at the weekend he was powerless to prevent the player moving on if the price was right, and the injection of significant funds would allow the Scot to continue his own squad rebuilding.

Leeds United centre-back Jason Pearce is a confirmed target, although sources in West Yorkshire say there is plenty of work to do to get that loan deal over the line.

Lukas Jutkiewicz, the Burnley striker, was also mentioned in the gossip columns yesterday, with Latics believed to be ready to try again for a player they missed out on last summer when he left Middlesbrough for Turf Moor.

Mackay admitted at the weekend he was desperate to bring in striking reinforcements after seeing his side draw another blank at the weekend.

“It’s fine margins, but it’s that quality at the top end of the pitch that affects those fine margins,” the Latics chief said.

“It’s something I’ve got to make sure we change, because the players that have been bought in the past are not managing to do that.

“We’ve got to have better quality in that final third and it’s something I’m determined to bring into the football club - in fact all over the pitch.

“There’s players that have been here for a period of time now that probably need to be refreshed in their career, and I need to bring in players in my image.

“We’ve started that with Liam Ridgwell, and I thought he was tremendous on Saturday alongside Leon Barnett and William Kvist.

“But we have to make sure that the overall quality gets better and better for us to get out of the bottom three.

“It’s something we’re going to be striving for over the next few weeks up to the end of the transfer window, and then again when the emergency loan window opens.

“We’re speaking to some clubs who are saying they will reassess at that time, so we’ll look at that when the loan window reopens at the start of February.”