New signing Greg Halford today claimed he is hungry to be a success at Aberdeen after ending eight months of limbo hell.
The experienced defender, 34, has signed a contract until the end of the season.
Halford had been a free agent since leaving Cardiff last summer and goes straight into the Dons squad for tonight’s home Premiership clash with Hamilton.
A former England U21 international Halford commanded £7 million in career transfer fees. He has starred in the English Premier League with Sunderland and Wolves and helped Cardiff win promotion to the top flight last season.
Although without a club since last June, Halford has been training with West Bromwich Albion in recent months and insists he is fit.
He said: “I just want to get out on the pitch. Another reason the manager brought me in is he realised the hunger I had now would be a lot more than what I would have at the start of the season.”
Halford added: “I have been pulling my hair out every Saturday sitting at home watching Sky Sports and seeing all my old teams like Cardiff coming on.
“And thinking I should be out there doing what I love and what I do best. It was horrible.
“Aberdeen is a good, big club as well and the manager had a massive influence.
“This is a fresh challenge and something completely new that I have never experienced before.
“I know he has tried to get me a couple of times in the past.”
McInnes moved to secure Halford from the “free agent” market due to recent injuries to Shaleum Logan and on-loan Watford defender Tommie Hoban.
Logan has undergone surgery on an ankle injury and will be sidelined for between two to three months.
Hoban’s season is over and he has returned to his parent club where he will undergo surgery on cruciate ligament damage.
New signing Halford has had spells at clubs like Nottingham Forest, Portsmouth, Rotherham and Sheffield United.
During his career, where he has racked up more than 500 starts, he has featured in almost every position.
He said: “Every club I have been at has had a completely different opinion of where they want to play me.
“I played with England U21s as a striker and central midfielder.
“Then I would go to Forrest and play as a left-back.
“It (his versatility) has held me back, to be honest. The amount of hype at the beginning of my career was when I was a right-back and that was where I was playing every game.
“To move position to accommodate managers or fill in for injury and suspension, it has hindered me.
“I have had to tailor that and when I got to 25, 26 years old, realised that would be my career now.
“So, I had to tailor my training sessions around being as fit as I possibly can and honing in all my features of my game to make them as good as they possibly can.”
Halford has spent the last four months training with West Brom and featured for their U23s but did not earn a deal at the Championship club.
Boss McInnes was delighted to secure a player with Halford’s CV and versatility in a difficult free agent market.
He said: “Greg is a hugely versatile player and that made him very attractive to us in terms of what we are looking for between now and the end of the season.
“At this stage of the campaign it is difficult to bring any player in, so I’m really pleased we’ve managed to secure someone of his stature.
“Speaking to Greg, he is naturally excited about the prospect of coming to Aberdeen and we look forward to working with him.”
Aberdeen’s defensive situation will improve for tonight’s Premiership match against struggling Hamilton as centre-back Scott McKenna returns from suspension.