BARNSLEY’S search for a new head coach could drag into a third week, after they had hoped to make an appointment by the end of this week.

The Reds sacked Markus Schopp almost two weeks ago after a 13-match winless run and seven straight losses left them second-bottom of the Championship with eight points – which is their lowest ever tally after 15 games.

Caretaker Joe Laumann oversaw the two home games against the other teams in the bottom three, a 2-1 win over Derby County last Wednesday then a 2-0 loss to Hull City on Saturday which saw the Reds play very poorly and be booed off.

They are second-bottom, four points from safety with 11 from 17 games.

The first team squad have been given most of this week off from training as a group, with the initial intention of them meeting their new boss over this weekend and potentially going away for a training camp in the UK.

If no new head coach is appointed by then, then Laumann is expected to lead training again. The Reds are still aiming to appoint a head coach before they visit Fulham a week tomorrow.

Barnsley are already making room for a new coaching set-up.

The position of Tonda Eckert, the first team coach, is under consideration.

The German arrived with Gerhard Struber last year and stayed on under Valerien Ismael and Schopp.

The Reds are thought to be likely to make it six overseas head coach appointments under the current owners, who bought the club from Patrick Cryne in December 2017.

They have recruited Jose Morais, Daniel Stendel, Gerhard Struber, Valerien Ismael and Schopp.

Sturm Graz boss Christian Ilzer and former Stuttgart manager Hannes Wolf have been linked to the role as has Alexander Blessin, the head coach of Barnsley’s Belgian sister club KV Oostende.

But a first British appointment since Paul Heckingbottom in 2016 should not be totally ruled out, with post-Brexit rules making recruitment from the continent more difficult.

The Reds are understood to be admirers of former Newport County boss Michael Flynn, who was also reportedly in the running for the vacant Cardiff City job, although caretaker Steve Morison is expected to get that job.

Former Barnsley midfielder Alex Neil has also been linked to the role, having managed in the Championship with Norwich City and Preston North End.

Although co-chairman and part-owner Paul Conway has attended the last three home matches, chief executive Khaled El-Ahmad is understood to be leading the interview and recruitment process.

The new head coach will be Barnsley’s fifth in just over two years and 12th since 2011.

It is a crucial decision for the owners, with its success likely to determine whether Barnsley stay in the Championship this season or drop to League One for the third time in eight years. While Stendel, Struber and Ismael are generally considered good appointments, especially Ismael who took the Reds to fifth last season, Morais and Schopp have the lowest points-per-game percentages of any Barnsley managers.

After the loss to Hull, Laumann told the Chronicle: “I can understand the fans will want a change. We didn’t win but I am thankful to be in charge for this week and the trust the club gave me.

“I have had great support from the boys, the fans and our CEO Khaled. What happens after I didn’t even think about.”

After this international break, Barnsley are due to visit second-placed Fulham on November 20 at the start of a busy week which will see them host Swansea City on the Wednesday then visit fellow strugglers Peterborough United the following Saturday.

This is the penultimate international break of the season, with 22 games to be played across four months until the last one in March.

Meanwhile, Derby County – the only club currently below Barnsley due to a 12-point deduction for going into administration – are reportedly set to be docked a further nine points for breaches of financial regulations.

That would leave them on minus three points, 14 behind the Reds.