Barnsley midfielder Josh Scowen admits keeping captain Conor Hourihane will be difficult if “big clubs come calling”.
Irish midfielder Hourihane is arguably the Reds’ most influential player and the club want to keep him at Oakwell. Just like Scowen, Hourihane’s contract is up next summer and talks have already begun to tie the Reds’ skipper down with a new deal. “When big clubs come calling it’s hard to keep players like Conor,” said Scowen.
“Conor’s probably got some massive interest with the way he’s been playing this season.
“Of course we’d love him to stay. He’s a pleasure to play with. He makes the game easy for everyone around him. Just watching him play and in training, I’m learning a lot from him.”
Unlike Hourihane, Scowen revealed he has not yet begun talks with the club. Scowen played a pivotal role in helping the Reds’ gain promotion last term and he hopes Oakwell bosses offer him a contract soon. “If they want me to stay then they will offer something soon hopefully,” reflected the 23-year-old. I’m still waiting to hear. If the club keep doing well then you don’t know what’s going to happen. I’m happy here, but who knows?
“If you’re out of contract then you have to up your game to either get a new contract here or to get some interest from the bigger clubs.”
Scowen returned to the centre of the park after sitting out for being sent off against Fulham. Next up is a trip to St Andrews to face Birmingham this afternoon, where Barnsley put five past the Blues in 2012.
“They are physical but I don’t mind a little bit of a battle,” grinned Scowen. “It will be a tough game but hopefully we will up our game from Friday [5-2 loss] and give ourselves the best shot.”
He added: “They’re a hard working team, I would not say they are the best footballing team or anything like that.
“They’re ruthless in both boxes and that’s something we need to do in order to keep picking up points in this league.”