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Albion boss wants to keep Barnes
Albion head coach Oscar Garcia has reiterated his wish to keep hold of injured Ashley Barnes.
The Seagulls have already knocked back interest from Championship rivals Burnley in Barnes, who is out of contract at the end of the season and is yet to agree a new deal at The Amex.
Other clubs are also monitoring the versatile striker’s circumstances but Oscar does not want to lose him before the transfer window shuts on Monday night.
The Spaniard said: “For me he is a very good player, a young player, and I am happy if he stays.”
A hip injury sidelines Barnes for the second game running against next-to-bottom Millwall at The Amex today but he is expected to be fit after the international break.
Oscar is reluctant to talk about Barnes’ contract situation, preferring instead to concentrate on Albion’s bid to complete a hat-trick of wins after losing to Leeds and Derby, then beating Birmingham and Burnley.
He said: “I want to be focused on the sporting part of my job. We have a game and I prefer to speak about that, not other things.
“I really think we deserved to have more points but this league is like that. You can be close to winning and you can lose a goal.
“Small details make the difference and we want them in our favour.
“I never look at the table, because all the games are tough in the Championship. All the opponents have enough quality to beat any team and we have to be prepared for this.”
Albion are in no rush to add another forward to the squad before the August window closes. The loan window will be open by the time they play their next match after Millwall, at Reading on September 15, offering a safety net in case anything happens to prolific spearhead Leo Ulloa.
Craig Mackail-Smith (Achilles) should be available in October and Oscar has not given up hope of Will Hoskins playing a part this season, despite a second operation on cruciate knee ligament damage.
Oscar said: “He (Mackail-Smith) is a different striker. He runs into spaces, works a lot. He is a kind of striker we don't have at the moment.
“Hoskins will be important as well. He's had many injuries. When he comes back he will have a lot of enthusiasm and energy. He has to recover 100%, because it's the second time (surgery).”
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