Cofie can become a team player with Reds says Flitcroft

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Barnsley boss David Flitcroft believes new signing John Cofie could have a bright future at Oakwell.

But for the moment Flitcroft thinks former Manchester United youngster Cofie is a work-in-progress.

“John is just someone who has just lost his way for quite a number of years now,” revealed Flitcroft.

“But the fit was right for him to come here. He’s got to understand being an individual hasn’t got him very far in his football life - and we want him to be part of this group.

“I think with the people we’ve got at this club, from the likes of myself, [assistant manager] Micky [Mellon] and [first team coach] Martin [Scott], and the players, he’s around good people and that can’t help but rub off on him.

“He’ll become a team player. The boys got talent, there’s no doubt about that. He’s had it [talent] since he was a ten year-old, but it’s up to us as staff to get it out of him.

“He knows it’s going to be difficult to get into the first team, but he wants to work hard and that’s the way it is.

“If that [desire to work] changes then we’ll be straight on to him. Put the challenge has been set out to him and, if John Cofie wants first team football, well he knows how to get it.”

Flitcroft said he thought his team were “exquisite” at times during their 2-2 pre-season friendly home draw with Wolves at Oakwell on Saturday.

But some slack defending “worried” the Reds’ boss with the new Championship just 12 days away - and a home clash with former Premier League side Wigan Athletic to kick the season off.

The Reds, unbeaten in their two official pre-season friendlies, get another chance to impress Flitcroft and supporters on Thursday when they host Bordeaux.

“John Cofie could have got a contract at a lot easier places, but he’s chosen here..

“He’s definitely a project but it’s something that’s definitely worth continuing with and trying to make good.”