David Flitcroft says injured midfielder Stephen Dawson is four weeks away from returning to action, but is glad he has not brought anyone in to replace the Irishman because it would have stopped the emergence of Kelvin Etuhu.
Dawson hurt his ankle at Ipswich on January 19 and Etuhu has come in and performed well.
Flitcroft said: “I am quite conscious that we are only one injury away from losing one of our midfielders so there is still a chance I will bring someone new in. But I’m so glad I didn’t bring anyone in in January because Kelvin Etuhu has been superb.
“His attitude has been superb since he’s been at the club. He’s just been unlucky that he’s been behind Daws (Stephen Dawson) and Perks (David Perkins) who, for me, are the two standout midfielders in the league this season as well as Danny Drinkwater.
"Kelvin is going to make mistakes but everyone does. I have got an astroturf in my back garden and I play on it with my two sons and we call it the ‘Mistakes Stadium’ because it is a way of learning. I’m trying to develop Kelvin because he will be a hell of a player with 100 Championship games under his belt.”
Flitcroft says Dawson is likely to be out until the middle of March despite what the midfielder, who has been one of Barnsley’s stars this season, might say.
The Reds boss said: “The trouble we will have with Daws is holding him back because he keeps saying he’s two weeks away but he’s not. He’s probably four good weeks away.”