Barnsley manager Michael Duff has revealed that his side tried to sign current Derby County midfielder Conor Hourihane this summer.
Both Barnsley and Derby County were relegated from the Championship last season.
Both also underwent a managerial change with Duff arriving at Oakwell and Liam Rosenior taking on the Pride Park job following Wayne Rooney’s exit.
The Rams made waves in the transfer market this summer, coming out of administration and rebuilding their playing squad.
One of the many free agents they signed was Hourihane – the Irishman was let go by Aston Villa and snapped up by Derby County in one of the more impressive League One transfers this summer.
And speaking to Barnsley Chronicle’s Doug O’Kane ahead of this weekend, Duff revealed that his side tried to persuade Hourihane into returning to Oakwell this summer:
Duff on experience: “We didn’t think the right ones were out there. It wasn’t a case of ‘you’re allowed James Norwood but no more.’ Conor Hourihane was one we tried to do but we couldn’t. Sometimes we don’t want them, sometimes they don’t want us. Sometimes it just doesn’t fit.”
— Doug O'Kane (@dougokane88) September 9, 2022
Barnsley signed Hourihane from Plymouth Argyle is 2014. He immediately became a key player for the Tykes, firing them towards promotion from League One in 2016 and also to winning the EFL Trophy that year too.
Midway through the 2016/17 campaign, Hourihane was snapped up by Aston Villa.
A missed signing for Duff?
Duff has endured a fairly tough start to life at Oakwell. His side sit in 10th after an impressive 2-0 win away at Sheffield Wednesday last time out – their first win in four in all competitions.
He has a lot of younger players in his side and perhaps someone with Hourihane’s experience would’ve made for a more balanced team, but it would’ve been very difficult for the Tykes to pull that one off.
But Duff won’t dwell on missed transfers. Last weekend’s win at Hillsborough could put some wind in their sails ahead of tomorrow’s home game v 2nd place Portsmouth, which is set to take place at 3pm at Oakwell.