Barnsley FC manager search: 'Innovative and tactically flexible' young coach emerges as front-runner to replace Michael Duff
Michael Duff left for Swansea City last month after guiding the Reds to the League One play-off finals.
The Yorkshire Post understands Barnsley’s aim this week was to have a new man in place by the end of it. They play Fylde in a pre-season friendly on Saturday.
The now-38-year-old started out in management with the Candystripes in 2021, having previously been chief scout for the Republic of Ireland.
In his time at the club he led them to second in last year's League of Ireland, also picking up the FAI Cup – the first time his club had won it in 10 years. This year Derry won the President of Ireland's Cup.
He has a contract until 2025.
Higgins is regarded as an innovative manager who makes wide use of statistics and is tactically flexible.
"There are lots of different scouting platforms available and probably that's why there's so much homework done for matches and discussions and debates about how teams will line-up and play against you," he said. "I never managed in my life until I got the Derry City job and I'm still very much learning."
Although he spent time in Coventry City's youth system as a player, the midfielder's entire senior career played out across the Irish Sea, mainly at Derry.