Barnsley are not necessarily looking for a targetman striker in January but someone who can ease the pressure on top-scorer Cauley Woodrow and who fits Valerien Ismael’s style of play.

The Reds are hoping to sign a forward and a centre-back in next month’s transfer window.

Asked if he would try to recruit a tall targetman striker, as was discussed under his predecessor Gerhard Struber, Ismael told the Chronicle: “We are looking for a striker who can play our philosophy. We need someone who can run and press and has a lot of energy and commitment. If this guy is two metres tall, I am happy, if he is 1.85m (six foot) like Cauley, I am happy. He needs to fit our way to play and give us more quality in our game.”

Woodrow has eight goals and five assists in all competitions this season but, with a very busy schedule, Ismael wants extra strength in depth so he can keep his star striker fresh.

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Victor Adeboyejo is also in form but has mainly been used in a wide forward role.

Ismael said: “We have the possibility with five substitutes to adapt our strategy in the game. I want to sometimes change the front three but I need to keep the quality and intensity the same.

“That is why we need another player to score the goals and put pressure on Cauley. We need the competition to be better and to give Cauley a break if he needs it.

“He is one of the very important players for the club and the team.

“He improved his skills and works very hard for the team. He is a very clever guy who tries to do his best. He responded very well after the mistake against Bournemouth (when he lost the ball so the Cherries made it 2-0 in a 4-0 win).

“I would like to take care of him in the games, that is why we are looking for another striker in January. For now we have to communicate very closely with him and make sure he stays fresh.”

Ismael also wants to sign a new centre-back in next month’s transfer window.

The Reds boss was delighted with Michal Helik’s performance in Tuesday’s win over Preston, after the Pole had been dropped for the previous two games, but he believes they need a new player in that area.

Ismael told the Chronicle: “I am not happy with the depth in the squad at centre-back.

“You can see how we struggle to have players in that position.

“We need to do something in this position in this window.

“Sometimes you have to give players who are adapting to this level a rest if you have a wide squad, but we don’t.”

While the Reds have insisted they will keep their key men in the window, Ismael is expecting several fringe players to depart in January, either on loan or permanently.

The likes of Jordan Green and Isaac Christie-Davies have been in the under 23s this season while Patrick Schmidt and Elliot Simoes have not featured since the 3-0 loss at Cardiff City last month.

Ismael said: “For sure, we will see a lot of players leave in January. I know my team and my players and exactly what we need for the Championship.

“We will speak with the players and see what is the right way to go with them.”