BARNSLEY’S new manager David Flitcroft is convinced that with two or three new signings he can keep the club in the Championship this season.
The 38-year-old said Barnsley need “possibly eight or nine” more wins from their remaining 19 matches to survive another relegation battle after being officially unveiled as the club’s fifth manager in the last eight years at Oakwell this afternoon.
The Tykes sacked predecessor Keith Hill at the end of last month after a run of one win in 14 games and were turned down by Sean O’Driscoll and then Terry Butcher as they searched for a new manager to keep the club in the second tier.
Flitcroft was initially reluctant to take on the role of caretaker through loyalty to Hill, whom he worked with for five years at Rochdale before the pair moved to Barnsley in June 2011.
And after a defeat at Peterborough in his first game in temporary charge, an FA Cup win over Burnley and the weekend derby defeat of Leeds convinced the Oakwell board to give Flitcroft his first job as manager.
When asked how many games Barnsley must win between now and the end of the season, Flitcroft replied: “Possibly eight or nine.
“I’ve reiterated to the players that this is one game at a time. It’s one training session at a time. We’re instilling good habits and a winning mentality, but there must be a calmness. We can’t be rash.
“I’m absolutely delighted. As soon as the Leeds game was over we started processing things. I got the call from the directors that they wanted me to carry on and start this new adventure.
“It’s really exciting. A Championship opportunity in my first management job is something that you dream about and it’s something I’m in now.
“I can’t wait to continue the work I’ve already started.”
Flitcroft said he would be strengthening the squad during the transfer window, but still had to ascertain which players wanted to leave.
“We’ve been planning, we’ve got targets and possible recruits,” he said. “We’re 15 days into the window now, but there’s still a lot of quality, a lot of good players out there.
“We’re possibly looking at the loan market. We’ve got a good core of players who want to be part of this challenge and adding some freshness would give everyone a lift.
“I’m excited about bringing two maybe three new players into the squad.”
The former Preston, Rochdale and Bury midfielder told fans he would be his own man and to judge him at the end of the season.
“No two managers are the same and I’m a different person to Keith,” he said. “I want to be my own person. I want to forge my own relationship with this group of players and the fans.
“I’m a real family man. I’ve got a strong family and that’s what I want to try and offer at this football club, a safe haven for players, an exciting place the fans can be a part of.
“The situation is only daunting if you allow it to be that way. I’ve got a challenge. It’s a difficult one, but it’s something the players want to embark on, my coaching team want to embark on and it excites me.
“I’ll attack it with a no-fear approach. There’s a lot of teams in a similar situation. We know where we’re at, we’ve been here quite a few weeks now and it’s something me and the players want to get going.
“I know the players, I understand them and have worked with them for a long time and the players know me and they know my characteristics.”