BEN MANSFORD has paid tribute to Barnsley owner Patrick Cryne for ensuring the Reds will be a competitive force at the sharp end of League One in 2014-15.
Manager Danny Wilson’s recruitment drive has gathered serious pace this week with the capture of James Bailey, Ross Turnbull and Sam Winnall inside 24 hours with many fans sceptical about the club’s promotion hopes following relegation last term starting to be won over.
The main summer activity prior to this week at Oakwell had been outward bound with 16 senior players leaving the club, the latest being Chris O’Grady and Luke Steele, with the future of Martin Cranie and Tom Kennedy also likely to be away from the club.
In the immediate fall-out of relegation, Reds chief executive Mansford warned of tough decisions ahead with going down effectively costing Barnsley £6m.
But after getting several big-earners off their books, allied to the financial backing of Cryne, Mansfield is confident the Reds will have a competitive squad in 2014-15.
He said: “We have got a very competitive budget and the support of Patrick Cryne, with the backdrop of losing substantial money trying to stay in the Championship, has been fantastic.
“I think we will bring in another two or three bodies and that will probably be it for us.
“We won’t operate with a big squad and having seen the youngsters perform, some could get an opportunity and I think some could take it as well. That really does help your budget go much further.
“I think we will be competitive with our first 14, 15 or 16 players and the other six to make up our 20-man squad will probably be made up of our younger talent.
“We hope the likes of Brad Abbott and Paul Digby are able to come and contribute, while Danny Rose and Nana (Boakye-Yiadom) shouldn’t be too far away. George Maris, James Bree and Jack Cowgill shouldn’t be, either.”