Barnsley: Paul Heckingbottom has ‘fingers crossed’ as Reds boss hopes for imminent arrivals

Barnsley head coach Paul Heckingbottom
Barnsley head coach Paul Heckingbottom
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Barnsley head coach Paul Heckingbottom has his “fingers crossed” for more imminent signings.

The Reds did their first bit of business this window as they brought in Everton’s Gethin Jones on loan until the end of the season.

Numbers are thin on the ground at Oakwell, with a couple of injuries or the reported mass exodus of key players enough to cripple the squad.

“I’ve got my fingers crossed, I always have,” admitted Heckingbottom, who is trying to keep hold of his best stars.

“I’m hopeful but it’s pointless talking about it really.

“We’ve been close before and then things haven’t happened. It’s not like we’re waiting for the same ones [players] all the time.

“It’s always difficult to get players over the line and it’ll be similar to the summer transfer window where it’ll be busier towards the end.”

Heckingbottom has been the one pushing to try and get players through the door.

However, his attentions will now turn to hosting Yorkshire rivals Leeds, who have won seven of their last nine in all competitions, tomorrow as the TV cameras come to town.

Marc Roberts is a doubt after limping out of the Reds’ midweek FA Cup defeat against Blackpool.

Heckingbottom added: “I’m really looking forward to the game, as are the players.

“They’re one of the form teams and with the players they’ve got you can see why.”

Heckingbottom stated there are no new bids in for any of his players, despite all the speculation in the national press.

Meanwhile, the Reds have reportedly launched a £150,000 bid for St Mirren’s rising star Stevie Mallan.

The 20-year-old central midfielder has bagged 22 goals in his 93 appearances at the Buddies.

As a midfielder who likes to get forward, Mallan looks like a potential replacement for captain Conor Hourihane who is out of contract in the summer.

Championship rivals Aston Villa are set to offer the Irishman £28,000-a-week if a fee can be agreed with Barnsley.

If a deal cannot be made between the two clubs then Hourihane has the option to wait his contract out at Oakwell and move for free in the summer.