Barnsley v Preston: Reds set to start afresh after a trying period

Matty James arrived at Barnsley on loan from Leicester in what was a rare bit of good news in January (Picture: Bruce Rollinson).
Matty James arrived at Barnsley on loan from Leicester in what was a rare bit of good news in January (Picture: Bruce Rollinson).
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DISAPPOINTMENT may have been the emotion felt following the final whistle on Tuesday after Barnsley’s 3-1 home loss to Wolves, but there was rather more relief for some in the cold light of day.

Ater a torrid month of transfer speculation, when a plethora of players were linked with moves and the club ultimately parted company with their top-scorer, talismanic captain and a highly-rated young defender, the Reds’ coaching staff are grateful for small mercies.

They can now work with the existing group up until early May without disruptions.

Expressing that sense of relief – and perhaps speaking for many involved with the club – assistant head coach Jamie Clapham said: “It was about 20 past 11 and we had finished the game off on Tuesday and we sat in the office and finally could sit there and put the names on the board and say, ‘right, this is what we have got for the season’.

“It was satisfying really as there has been a lot of speculation about a lot of players, understandably so.

“You could go through the whole team and I don’t think there was actually one player who was not linked with a move.

“It has been a difficult month, but we know what we have got to crack on with until the end of the season and I am looking forward to working with a new group of players, so to speak.

“It is as if we have got to start again because we have got four of five in.

“There are a lot of basics that we need to get into them in order to get them to fit into our style of play.

“But it is going to be enjoyable working with them, anyway.”

Despite a month of upheaval that also saw chief executive Linton Brown leave, players depart and uncertainty reigning at times, Clapham believes that all and sundry need to draw a line under proceedings and move on – drawing strength from adversity being something at which Reds players have proved proficient over the past 13 months.

Clapham added: “The month is over now and we can look forward.

“That’s the main thing.

“Whatever has happened has happened and the players that have come in are looking forward to playing for Barnsley and we are looking forward to working with them.

“Let’s get them gelling as quickly as possible.”