Barnsley: Departures mean it’s a fresh start for Reds

Barnley first team coach Jamie Clapham
Barnley first team coach Jamie Clapham
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First team coach Jamie Clapham feels like Barnsley are starting their season again after the January transfer window.

Clapham took over Paul Heckingbottom’s media duties yesterday with the latter at a family engagement.

The Reds lost three key players last month, with a handful joining the ranks at Oakwell.

Sam Winnall departed for Sheffield Wednesday, while captain Conor Hourihane and promising right-back James Bree jumped ship to Aston Villa.

Gethin Jones, Matty James and Callum Elder have all joined on loan, with Ryan Hedges coming into the club on a permanent basis.

“It’s as if we’ve got to start again because we’ve got four or five in,” admitted Clapham, who joined the club in the aftermath of the Tommy Wright saga.

“There’s a lot of basics we’ve got to get into the new boys so they can fit into our style of play.

“It’s been a difficult but a very rewarding month. Both myself and Hecky have learned a lot about the business side and how other parts of the football club work.

“We want people who want to be here and work hard for Barnsley.

“It’s been a difficult month, but we now know what [players] we’ve got to crack on with until the end of the season.

“It was a relief to be able to sit at twenty past eleven [after the Wolves] game and put all the names on the board who we have.

“There was a lot of speculation surrounding a lot of players, understandably so, and it’s a relief it’s all over really.

“I don’t think there was one of our first-team players who wasn’t linked with a move away so we’re pleased it’s in the past and we can look forward now.”

The Reds will be vying to bounce back after their defeat to Wolves in mid-week as they host Preston North End tomorrow [Saturday].

Loanee Saidy Janko is about two weeks away from full fitness, with Aidy White looking like he could be out for a while.

With Ghana’s run at the African Cup of Nations, Andy Yiadom will be back in time for the trip to Reading next week.

Clapham added: “Preston have recently changed their formation and the way they play.

“They’ve had a really good season and they’ve got really good individuals that can hurt you.

“They’re great on the counter, they change their formation in the game - sometimes three or four times - so we’ll need to be wary of that.”