Gerhard Struber says Barnsley are still in the market for up to three additions this month, and their chances are improved because recent performances have shown potential recruits they will not be joining a lost cause.
Depending on Stoke City's result at leaders West Bromwich Albion on Monday, the Reds might at last be able to move out of the Championship relegation zone by beating Preston North End at Oakwell.
They will take Alex Neil's side on depleted by injury and illness, but in a positive frame of mind after Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Bristol City was only their second in nine games.
“We've had some very good conversations with the board,” revealed Struber, who has inspired the upturn since taking over in late November. “They know what I need – it's no surprise– and we are fighting for these players. It's not so easy to get the right players when we have a smaller budget than other clubs in the Championship.
“But many players have seen a new style at Barnsley and see a chance that we can stay in the league. This makes it easier to get high-quality players who can help us.”
Already the Reds have signed right-back Kilian Ludewig and central midfielder Marcel Ritzmaier this month, and Struber is optimistic there could be a third arrival – most likely another defender – before the end of the week.
“We are very hopeful we can bring a very good player in, so I hope I will be able to speak about that in the next few days,” he revealed.
Only a Stoke win at the Hawthorns will deny Barnsley the chance to move out of the relegation zone on Tuesday, although the Potters will have a quick chance to respond, playing their game in hand at home to Swansea City on Saturday, when the Reds will be in FA Cup fourth-round action at Portsmouth.
Nine-goal Cauley Woodrow is set to return after four matches out with a hamstring injury, but only from the bench. It was a rare positive in a gloomy medical bulletin.
“Bambo (Diaby) has a knee problem and we're not sure if Clark (Odour) is going to be fit,” said Struber. “He has a problem with his ankle ligaments but he'll have a fitness test in training and we hope he'll be ready.
“We can't take any risks with Bambo. We'll have to monitor him, but I hope he can play at the weekend.
“Cauley's ready, he's fit and he'll be in the squad. I'm now discussing with the physio team what is best for him. He had a break for three weeks and maybe it's too dangerous for him to start. Maybe 20, 30 minutes is enough and the best thing for him at the moment but it's a big plus for my team.
“(Goalkeeper Sami) Radlinger trained yesterday and he's in a rehabilitation programme so we hope he'll be ready.
“It doesn't change our plans in the transfer window. Many players have problems with flu, it's a normal situation.
“Mike (Bahre) is ill. I spoke with him and he's not ready. He doesn't sound good.”