Barnsley head coach Neill Collins said the club did not want to stand in the way of James Norwood’s desire to leave the club.

The veteran striker only signed a new deal in the summer but was surprisingly sold to National League Oldham Athletic last week, even though he had been a mainstay of the Reds’ line-ups in pre-season.

Collins claims Norwood wanted the move to Boundary Park and suggested it was the right move for all parties.

He said: “I think James has been excellent in his time here. He intimated that he wanted to make the move to Oldham happen.

“At the stage he’s at in his career, you’ve got to be mindful of that and it shows you where his head’s at.

“It’s maybe not ideal three days before the start of the season but equally the guys have shown why we have been able to make that happen.”

Asked whether the club will be seeking a replacement front man, Collins joked having three-goal hero Devante Cole and other goalscorers in their goal glut against Port Vale would have the board saying no.

He said he is still assessing the current squad before more recruitment decisions are made.

He added: “The club has worked so hard recruitment wise. We are continuing to work hard and never take anything for granted until the window shuts. But I am still assessing the squad in the league, not in pre-season games.

“We have got a lot of guys missing and we need to see how they fit in as well.”

Barnsley made the perfect start to the campaign on Saturday by smashing seven past a hapless Port Vale.

Cole bagged a hat-trick and there was one apiece from Liam Kitching, Jon Russell and new signing Andy Dallas. The other goal came courtesy of Vale’s Dan Jones.