Neill Collins was delighted to keep hold of the likes of Devante Cole through the January transfer window, which he says was more important than making further additions to the squad.

Barnsley brought in defenders Donovan Pines and Josh Earl as well as midfielder Conor Grant, with the last two arriving on deadline day. They also looked for a striker but head coach Collins said they were ‘not very close.’

The Reds loaned Callum Styles to Sunderland but kept all their first team players who are out of contract in the summer including League One top-scorer Cole.

Collins said: “It’s easy to forget the players you have kept in a window where everyone wants additions. We always want a little bit more.

“But I would take keeping those guys over any addition. We have the core of a good side.”

Pines was on the bench for Saturday’s draw at Bolton Wanderers. There were no other centre-back options after Kacper Lopata and Jack Shepherd were loaned out on deadline day.

Pines is now expected to play in a friendly at home against Notts County tomorrow at 1pm.

Collins told the Chronicle: “It maybe wasn’t the plan (to have Pines on the bench). But when we have let Kacper and Jack go for their long-term benefit, and Donovan has shown a great level of fitness so could have come on if needed.

“He will play on Tuesday. It could be more than first expected – 75 minutes at least. That will be really good for him.”

Grant, a loanee from MK Dons, made his debut off the bench on Saturday for the final ten minutes. Collins said: “Conor came on and helped the team.

“He’s going to give us something different. He can play as an eight and a ten. He can receive the ball well, get between the lines, break lines, create. He’s young but he gives us options in that area of the pitch.”

Barnsley’s 1-1 draw at Bolton saw them take the lead then miss some big chances before conceding against the run of play. But it was another encouraging performance away at a promotion rival following a 2-2 draw at Peterborough on December 29, after being 2-0 up, and a 1-0 win at Oxford last month.

Collins said: “We were unbeaten in those games but we can turn the draws into wins.

“It’s keeping that level of performance in every game consistently which is the big challenge.

“I hope we can continue to improve. I don’t think we’ll be at our best every game. But we have progressed all season and I think that will continue.

“Ian (Evatt) has been at Bolton four years and the players know how they are going to play.

“I have only been here seven or eight months. I am excited about how we can progress.”