Barnsley FC head coach Neill Collins on 'huge asset' for Reds, free agent talk - and concern regarding Luca Connell

NEILL COLLINS has confirmed that any thoughts of entering the free agent market are firmly on the backburner.

The Barnsley chief picks from a strong hand ahead of Saturday's home game with Burton Albion, with Conor McCarthy and Josh Benson both back in the fray.

Recent signings Sam Cosgrove, Owen Dodgson and Jamie McCart are pushing for league debuts, while key midfielder Callum Styles remains at the club with his £2million release clause not activated by any suitors ahead of the transfer deadline.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It puts Reds chief Collins in a position of relative strength heading into the main autumn programme.

Barnsley FC head coach Neill Collins. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.Barnsley FC head coach Neill Collins. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.
Barnsley FC head coach Neill Collins. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

On Styles, he said: "He's a huge asset. He's clearly a talented player who can fulfil different roles in midfield and at wing-back.

"Callum has played pretty much every game since I have been in charge.

"Callum is a very fit lad who trains well and enjoyable to work with. He's a talented player and I'm pleased to have him.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"My job is to get the best out of him and Callum has said to me that he needs to get better and wants to push himself. It's good to hear and hopefully I can make that happen."

Dismissing talk of any free agent moves, he continued: "No, not at the moment. We are focused on the players we have got in the building and training has been very competitive, as you can imagine, with the new faces and players wanting to get back into the team.

"Right now, we are pretty happy with what we have got, but we'll continue to monitor it."

The one cause for concern is Luca Connell, who has not featured in 2023-24 due to illness.

Collins added: "I am concerned for Luca as a Barnsley player and a person and just want him to get healthy and get back and have him around. But these things take time."