Gerhard Struber believes his current Barnsley squad is capable of staying in the Championship but admits their chances will increase if they can sign some loan players before the January transfer window closes at 11pm tonight. 

The head coach would like ‘one or two’ loan signings and confirmed to the Chronicle that one should be a central defender. In yesterday afternoon’s press conference, he said: “I think my squad is ready for our big aim and I trust in this squad now, 100 per cent, that we can create good performances in the next month. But it would be a good situation to bring in one or two players more.  “If we bring in the one or two players we want, our chance is bigger. 

“Those players are also interesting other clubs so it is not so easy. “In terms of football, this squad 100 per cent has the right quality. The only thing is that, and it is normal for young players, they have problems in losing the momentum in a game. This is the big difference between young players and players with a bigger experience. 

“We have to develop our young players, we have brought in players with experience and, maybe with one more player like that, this mix is enough. I have a big conviction that we can stay in the league, if every player plays to his limit. I believe that 100 per cent.”

Promotion-chasing Brentford are reportedly interested in Barnsley striker Jacob Brown. Top-scorers Cauley Woodrow and Conor Chaplin, as well as captain Alex Mowatt are also thought to be of interest to other clubs. Struber has insisted throughout the window that none of them will be sold and the Chronicle understands that, as of yesterday, there had been no fresh bids after some approaches for Woodrow much earlier in the window. 

Struber said: “When Browny plays every game very well and he has scored, it is normal that he gets offers from other clubs. But he is very happy, he has a contract in Barnsley. He is interesting for other clubs but he will stay in Barnsley in this window. It has been very helpful for him to play and develop. He is a very important player for our aim of staying in the league.”

The Reds had been considering loaning out 19-year-old midfielder Callum Styles who is yet to start a league game for the club after signing from Bury at the start of last season. His only appearance since October was against Preston last week and he was an unused substitute at Portsmouth on Saturday.  But he may be needed with fellow midfielders Marcel Ritzmaier and Mike Bahre injured and ill respectively. 

Other players who could leave are full-backs Dani Pinillos and Dimitri Cavare as well as winger Mamadou Thiam who have been frozen out under Struber.  The Chronicle understands those three are all free to leave the club but have turned down opportunities to do so this month.

Struber said: “The situation is the same as it was in the last few weeks.  We have no decision in another direction for those boys but, for these players, it is very important to find a club that gives them gametime. It is not easy for them and they are not happy. It is not so easy to find a club that the players accept and that they have a big motivation for.”

Barnsley’s only options at centre-back as of yesterday afternoon were new signing Michael Sollbauer as well as Mads Andersen and Aapo Halme, who Struber prefers to play in defensive midfield. Bambo Diaby is currently suspended during an investigation into an alleged doping violation.  Toby Sibbick has been loaned out to Scottish Premier League club Hearts until the end of the season, reuniting with Daniel Stendel who started him in every league game until his sacking as Reds boss in October.  The 20-year-old, who arrived from AFC Wimbledon on a four-year contract last summer, had only featured twice in Struber’s 14 matches. He started in Hearts’ win against Rangers on Sunday. 

Struber said: “For Toby Sibbick it is very important to play 90 minutes every week and, in our situation with the other defenders here, I cannot give him the guarantee for more gametime.  For him and the club, this is a very good situation. He has a trainer (Stendel) who trusts him and maybe he will get the gametime he needs.”

Winger Dylan Mottley-Henry joined his former club Bradford City yesterday on a permanent deal, having played once for Barnsley, while the Reds were set to loan striker Chris Sang to Guiseley.

Two signings are due to arrive for the under 23s. Midfielder Ethan Erhahon, 18, joined on a six-month loan from St Mirren for whom he has played 18 Scottish Premier League games while former QPR centre-back Ali Omar, 20, has signed as a free agent.  

The Reds loaned out Victor Adeboyejo to League Two Cambridge United, after he scored twice in 30 games for League One Bristol Rovers. The 22-year-old striker played 90 minutes for Cambridge in both their 1-1 draw at Morecambe on Saturday and 4-0 home loss against Salford City on Tuesday which prompted the sacking of Colin Calderwood.