Head Coach Paul Heckingbottom has issued an update to our loyal fan base on the transfer activity at the Club throughout the January transfer window so far.“It’s busy, there is lots of activity and speculation. We’ve seen some good players leave the squad but we are working hard and tirelessly to bring in new faces. We’ve lost a midfielder in Sam Morsy and a defender in James Bree this week, but they have been replaced.
“Matty James is the second of those players, following Gethin Jones through the door. These are two areas we identified but we are still looking to bring more in with the quality of Gethin and Matty.
“I heard a stat the other day that the 18 that were involved in the play-off final, we’ve lost 10 of those already. That shows that it’s constantly happening. We lose 10 players but we have developed and recruited and now we’ve got a competitive and strong team again. We’re over achieving and surprising everyone in the Championship despite losing 10 of those 18. That shows we can do it and there is nobody working harder than me to ensure we get the best possible players into this Football Club and we’ll continue to do so.
“The club have been making offers and speaking to representatives about contract extensions but ultimately it is up to the player. If they can leave for free in the summer and earn more money elsewhere then that’s their prerogative and we understand that. If players did that we would thank them for their services because they have done excellently for us but then we would look to replace them with players with the potential to be better.
“People have to realise where we are as a team and as a Football Club in terms of the pecking order in this league. We’re never going to be able to compete financially and when players come to the end of their contracts their heads are going to be turned by money, that’s fact. What we have got and we have shown with the recruits we’ve brought in is great team spirit, a great style of play and a good reputation for where players want to come and play their football. If we continue to make the most of that we will attract good players who could have got more money elsewhere. That’s how we gain our value and we have to continue working hard at that.
“Players will come and go, just because we’ve been winning games people have forgotten that we have lost 10 from the promotion winning squad which is a massive number to lose, yet we have made an even better team and getting a better team is what we will try and continue to do.”
Heckingbottom wanted to address the constant speculation about his players that often circulate amongst the press and media outlets.
“From a personal point of view, wherever I am I have got people asking me what’s happening, why is he leaving? Is it true about so and so? Most of it is rumours, parts of it are true but I can’t comment or speculate on any of it because I will be drawn into that many things, it would be a waste of my time. I am hearing a new rumour every hour. I can’t get away from it, but I can’t talk about it so I understand people’s frustrations because I am living it, I live amongst Barnsley fans and I am one myself so I understand everything that is going off. That includes all the speculation about players coming and going.
“But on the same token, fans need to trust in what the Club has done. Back to that point about losing players, we’ve done that before. If we told the fans that 10 of our promoted squad weren’t going to be here in four months time, they would have gone barmy, but now we are even higher up the league and that’s just the way it is.
“We had it when Alfie Mawson left, how do we replace him? We brought in Angus MacDonald and Adam Jackson. How are we going to score goals now Sam Winnall has left? We just scored three against Leeds and won a massive derby match, to go back up to 8th. We will get this for every player that happens to leave and I understand that because the fans love and idolise them, but it is time for them to get new heroes.”