How's Howard getting on?
Brian Howard's move may have a been a quick and quiet one, but just how is the midfielder getting on?
We caught up with Vital Sheff Utd editor Ben Shepherd to see how Howard has settled in.
(1) How has Brian settled into the team?
Howard's settled into the team excellently. After losing Michael Tonge, Nick Montgomery came in and we lost any sort of creativity in midfield. A number of things were tried by Blackwell, including moving Stephen Quinn into the midfield, but this left a hole on the left. But Howard coming in to sit alongside Speed has worked perfectly, as it allows him to roam, knowing he's got the experience of Speed to sit behind him.
(2)Is he the missing piece to Blackwell's jigsaw?
He's one of the missing pieces, but the jigsaw is far from complete. We still need more competition at centre half, and we're currently lacking pace up front. The central midfield was the biggest weakness and I feel that's been made considerably better with Brian there, but there's still room for improvement.
(3) Do you think he will help your drive for promotion?
He can only help. Without him, we were showing little to no creativity in midfield but he has corrected that problem. If he can get a couple of goals to go with his performances then we should be set for a guaranteed play-off place, and if we can improve our consistency then maybe go one better
(4) What other Barnsley player would you sign if you could?
Another Barnsley player... Kozluk back for the morale perhaps? Stephen Foster could bring something to our team, alongside Kilgallon. I've always been a fan of Campbell-Ryce but he hasn't really cut it anywhere. His pace is something we could do with, but where he'd fit in is a question. Perhaps challenging Quinn for the left sided position.
(5) What is your take on the whole 'Morgan elbow' incident?
I heard the other day, that you need your arms to jump and why wasn't there the same controversy about this challenge (Wolves v Birmingham) than with the MOrgan one. Well, for the simple reason that Morgan wasn't jumping. He was aware that Hulme was there, and so raised his arm to fend him off, but I don't believe that he intentionally meant to hurt him. I believe some of the Barnsley reactions have been a little over the top, but the majority were heat of the moment comments.
Thanks to Ben Shepherd for his thoughts on the latest with Brian Howard anf of course, the 'elbow' saga.