Reds boss eyeing up loan market after international calls

Fleetwood's Jimmy Ryan chases down Barnsley 's Lloyd Isgrove
Fleetwood's Jimmy Ryan chases down Barnsley 's Lloyd Isgrove
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Caretaker Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom is considering looking at the loan market with a busy Easter weekend looming.

The Reds will be without three key players for the upcoming clashes against Scunthorpe and Port Vale on Good Friday and Easter Monday.

Loan trio Lloyd Isgrove (Wales), Ashley Fletcher (England Under-20s) and Callum Connolly (England Under-19s) have all been called up to represent their nations.

Football League rules state that only five loanees can be named in a matchday squad, so if the club did make a move in the market that would take their total to six, which would then present a selection dilemma when the internationals return from duty.

“We’re in a catch-22 as we’ve got our five loan players in,” admitted Heckingbottom.

“We’d have six then someone is missing out all the time. It can be difficult and it’s a bit of a balancing act.

“There’s a lot to consider in terms of getting it right for the player and balancing the dynamic of the squad.

“You’re always going to have one loan player who knows he can’t feature which could have an impact on the dressing room and the team.

“We’ll obviously look at it but we’ve got more than enough on our bench to step up and make their claim.”

All three starlets are on loan from Premier League clubs and have been in fine form during Barnsley’s barnstorming surge up the League One table.

But Heckingbottom is confident that there is more than enough quality amongst the players waiting in the wings for them to step in and prove their worth.

“I’m delighted for them, they’re great players each in their own right,” he added.

“They’ve come and done the business for Barnsley and got the rewards and recognition off the back of that.

“But it’s an opportunity for someone else to come and step up and get the place.

“If you look at what’s been going on in the last few weeks we’ve had suspensions and people returning from loans, injuries and illnesses.

“It’s always been an opportunity for someone else to step up and more often than not we’ve got the result, so we have to do the same thing again. It’s a challenge and an opportunity for someone else.”