Barnsley: Heckingbottom planning for worst this summer

Barnsley head coach Paul Heckingbottom is planning for the worst this summer.

Saturday, 25th March 2017, 4:45 am
Updated Saturday, 25th March 2017, 10:54 am
Angus MacDonald

In January the Reds were facing a mass exodus with a number of their top stars out of contract at the end of the season.

Marley Watkins, Josh Scowen, Ryan Williams and Aidy White are four of those players who could leave for free after this season - with Watkins already having a transfer request rejected back in January.

Couple that with the fact Adam Armstrong, Matty James, Ryan Kent, Callum Elder, Gethin Jones and Saidy Janko will all be returning to their parents clubs and Barnsley could virtually need a whole team coming through the door.

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“They’ll be a big turnover in players next season,” admitted Heckingbottom. “We need a lot of players. In my head you’ve got to plan for the worst.

“My priority will be just getting players in because I know come the summer we’ll need lots of players.

“It’s difficult to know how many we will need. We’ve got x amount under contract, a few out of contract and obviously six loans.

“If you look at it like that and you think of the worst happening then that in itself is a big turnover.”

The Reds will already be looking at players to fill the void of those leaving Oakwell.

One who is reportedly on the radar is prolific Millwall striker Lee Gregory.

An early positive for Barnsley came yesterday with news defender Angus MacDonald had signed a contract extension to remain at Oakwell until 2019.

Heckingbottom said: “I’m delighted he’s committed himself to the club. It’s a huge boost as we continue to put plans in place for the future.”