Poya Asbaghi fires a broadside at former Barnsley FC defender Toby Sibbick

BARNSLEY head coach Poya Asbaghi has fired a broadside in the direction of Toby Sibbick after being questioned about his departure from the club.

The out-of-favour Reds defender joined SPL side Hearts late last week for an undisclosed fee - signing a three-and-a-half year deal with the Tynecastle club.

Asbaghi said: "In the end, it is also about wanting an atmosphere here with the players we have in the game, even if we don't perform how we want or always get results.

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"We have always had the fighting spirit of giving 100 per cent and for us arriving here, this is an important ingredient that you have to have as a player. In all the training - even if you are playing or not - you give 100 per cent.

Former Barnsley defender Toby Sibbick, pictured in action against Rotherham United last season.

"With the players we have left now, all of them are ready to do the job and that is a must for a team that is in our position. That is all I can say."

The former AFC Wimbledon player had not featured at first-team level since November 20, having fallen out of favour at Oakwell under Asbaghi.

Sibbick – also linked with Hearts’ Edinburgh neighbours Hibernian last month – joined the Reds in summer of 2019 and featured 56 times for the club.

He enjoyed a major reprieve last season under Valerien Ismael after dropping out of the side during Gerhard Struber’s time at the club, with the Londoner joining Hearts on loan in the second half of the 2019-20 campaign which was curtailed due to Covid.

Sibbick was a key part of the Reds’ backline who reached the play-offs last season and also offered versatility in defence.

Another player to leave Oakwell in the window was striker Obbi Oulare, who has joined up with Belgian second-tier outfit Molenbeek on loan.

The 26-year-old has endured a nightmare time since arriving at Oakwell last July with injury and significant fitness issues having blighted his time at the club.

Oulare - brought in at an expensive outlay from Standard Liege on a three-year deal - has made just two brief substitute appearances for the club, lasting a combined total of around half an hour.

The Belgian forward's last appearance came at home to Swansea City on November in Asbaghi's first game in charge.

Asbaghi added: "The worst part for him, individually has been the injuries he has had. Now he had able to come back and now he has gone out on loan, I don't think it will take too long before he is playing again, which we will follow closely."