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Flicker hopes to keep stars and bring in two or three

By Doug O'Kane, Sports Editor Friday 18th January 2013
John Stones.

Barnsley boss David Flitcroft says the next two weeks will be crucial in deciding Barnsley’s fate this season as he looks to bring in two or three players and keep hold of his stars.


Having already lost top-scorer Craig Davies, the Oakwell club is braced for bids for other players. Directors have been contacted by Premier League clubs about the availability of young defender John Stones but there have been no bids received. The Reds are understood to want more than £1million for the England under 19 international.


Flitcroft said: “You always want to hold onto your best players but we have got to plan for if we do lose them. There are some good players in our team and I expect clubs will be interested. I think John Stones is incredible and one of best young prospects in the land. If he did leave, it wouldn’t be an easy fit to replace him like it wasn’t with Ricardo Vaz Te. There are no other players like those two out there.”


Stones’ fellow defender Scott Wiseman seemed certain to leave the club for Blackpool last week but the deal collapsed when the Seasiders manager Michael Appleton moved across Lancashire to Blackburn. Wiseman has not played in the last three Reds games but is expected to be included tomorrow although Flitcroft says he could still leave the club.


Flitcroft refused to comment on the futures of players who had struggled to get in the team this season such as Lee Collins, Rob Edwards and Toni Silva but said players could leave.


The manager wanted to bring in a new player before the trip to Ipswich on Saturday and is targeting permanent and loan signings.


Flitcroft said: "We have looked at a lot of targets and compiled a list of good  people. It is now just whether they want to come and be part of what we have got at Barnsley. We have not scored enough goals or kept enough clean sheets so I’m looking at how we improve in those areas.


"The squad would benefit from a goalscorer but I don’t know any wise person who will let any in-form goal-scorers come to our football club.“We are three weeks into window so we have lost a lot of time but there is still a lot of quality out there. We have an excellent core of players but we need a bit of newness and freshness to give them a lift.“We will try to bring in some permanents then look to use the loan market.”