Barnsley FC caretaker manager Martin Devaney gets advice from rival Championship boss and former Tyke

As a rookie manager thrown into an unenviable situation, Barnsley caretaker boss Martin Devaney needs all the help he can get.
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The 41-year-old has been placed in charge of the Reds until the end of the season following Poya Asbaghi’s departure last weekend after relegation to League One was confirmed with three games still to play.

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"I’m very fortunate I have got good friends that are managing; one or two in the Championship and one or two in League One,” he said ahead of Saturday’s visit of Preston North End.

Martin Devaney celebrates Barnsley's win over Hull City earlier this season with former head coach Poya Asbaghi.Martin Devaney celebrates Barnsley's win over Hull City earlier this season with former head coach Poya Asbaghi.
Martin Devaney celebrates Barnsley's win over Hull City earlier this season with former head coach Poya Asbaghi.
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"There’s plenty of people I can bounce off and there’s been people I have been speaking to about this situation. They have all been really encouraging and keep helping me.”

Pressed for names, 41-year-old Devaney said: “I don’t want to go too much into that but I’m close to Grant McCann.

"I played with him. He’s been a good help.”

The pair were teammates at Cheltenham Town in the early noughties and again at Barnsley from 2006 to 2008.

Ex-Northern Ireland international McCann, now 42, returned to Peterborough United for a second spell in charge in February but could not stop them from being relegated straight back to the third tier.

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Devaney said he does not want to be judged on his three games in charge.

He said: “To turn around a team and play with my identity and style, and the way the club have played in the past, takes a long time and not two tactical sessions.

“I’m just doing the best I can. I have been given this situation and I’m using it for myself as a good experience.”