Barnsley FC v Portsmouth: Neill Collins admits Devante Cole's goal rush could be a double-edged sword

THE FACT that Devante Cole's goal rush could prove a double-edged sword is not lost upon Neill Collins.

The in-form striker has started the season in sublime fashion, netting eight goals in his opening seven league outings, including a brace in the weekend win over Burton.

As it stands, Cole is also out of contract next summer, with the 28-year-old understood to have been the subject of interest towards the end of the recent summer window.

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Collins, whose side have won their last four matches in all competitions by a scoreline of 2-0, is wise to the notion that Cole's feats will not be escaping the attentions of rival clubs, but remains sanguine about his situation.

Barnsley striker Devante Cole: Picture: Tim Goode/PA WireBarnsley striker Devante Cole: Picture: Tim Goode/PA Wire
Barnsley striker Devante Cole: Picture: Tim Goode/PA Wire

Collins said: "I am sure he has got eyes on him as he's scoring the goals. I think we have shown that there's always eyes on our players; I think that's been evident over the years.

"But I think contract discussions will stay between the club and the player. I want all the best players to be at Barnsley for a long, long time to come.

"But I also understand that the club has to do what is right for the club as the players want to play at the highest level.

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"My aim is for all these players to get the chance of playing at a higher level with Barnsley.

"Right now, Devante is taking his opportunities. But more than that, he is very good against the ball.

"It is easy to forget, but that side is also very important for us in keeping clean sheets and it starts from Devante.

"He will also admit he needs the quality around him to get those chances. Long may it continue that he keeps putting them away."

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Hungary international Callum Styles is available for the Portsmouth game after missing out last weekend due to illness.

Collins added: "Callum missed out purely to do with illness on Saturday. He missed training on Thursday and he will be back available for selection.

"He is desperate to play football and is in a good place after international duty and played pretty much every minute or two high-profile games and did well."