Mansford defends Mellon axe as part of Barnsley shake-up

Micky Mellon.
Micky Mellon.
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BARNSLEY chief executive Ben Mansford has defended the decision to part company with assistant-boss Micky Mellon and goalkeeping coach Ian Willcock – and insists it was time for a change.

The Reds, who prop up the Championship, are likely to announce new additions to their backroom staff shortly, with Paul Heckingbottom currently assisting Oakwell chief Danny Wilson.

Frank Barlow, Wilson’s former assistant at Sheffield United, is being strongly linked with a move to Barnsley and is expected to join the club in the near future, with the vastly-experienced 67-year-old currently on the scouting staff at Hull City.

Mansford said: “It was a time where we felt where a change needed to be made.

“I don’t think it’s any lack of effort or capability from Micky or Ian.

“But we just felt a change was right and Danny wanted a change.

“We were very supportive of Dave (Flitcroft) until he left us and we are very supportive of Danny now.

“We brought in Danny and we’ve got every confidence in him and at this stage, with a quarter of the season left to go at the business end, a change was going to be made.

“I don’t think there’s any more to it than the management team was going to be changed and we were happy to support Danny.

“There’s no more to it than that. It’s football. It’s a results business.

“It’s not easy, it’s not pleasant but it’s been done for the better of the football club and I wish both all the very best for their future careers.”

Former Fleetwood boss Mellon, 42, joined the club in December 2012 to assist Flitcroft, who had been placed in temporary charge following the sacking of Keith Hill.

Willcock, 35, had worked as goalkeeping coach at Bury, Carlisle, Accrington and Rochdale before joining Barnsley’s backroom staff under Keith Hill in December 2011.