With the gossip columns going into overdrive as we head towards the January window, Accrington Stanley’s in-form midfielder Josh Windass has learned from his mistakes as he bats away transfer rumours.
The 20-year-old starlet has been the stand-out performer in the League Two side’s stellar start to the 2015-16 campaign, notching ten goals in all tournaments to fire Stanley into the play-off spots.
The winter transfer window will spark the second time Windass – the son of former Hull City and Bradford striker Dean – will have been linked to a move up the English ladder.
The youngster is adamant he won’t pay too much attention to the stories surrounding his future after admitting he had debated a potential summer move away from the club.
Windass told The FLP: “It’s really nice to be linked to bigger clubs as it shows that people are appreciating what you’re doing on the pitch; however it can have negative effects.
“You can take your mind off your game and spend more time listening to rumours and I think towards the end of the last transfer window I had a dip in form. Maybe I was thinking about that but I spoke to the gaffer and it all got wiped out of my head.”
Formerly of Huddersfield Town, Windass played alongside good friend and former team-mate Matt Crooks in the club’s youth team.
Now joined by the combative midfielder at Accrington after his move from the Terriers, the pair have been in the spotlight at the Crown Ground.
“We’ve been playing together since we were 14 at Huddersfield,” he said.
“When he came to Accrington I knew I already had a good relationship with him on the pitch as I know what he’s going to do when he’s on the ball.
“We have a great understanding and he sits just behind me on the pitch and we link up quite well, it’s like Tetris in the team sometimes when one player moves forward and the other drops in their place!
“With Crooksy also receiving interest, we spoke about it all and we agreed that it’s best to focus on stuff at Accrington and ignore all of the rumours flying about.”
There’s a youthful look to Stanley’s squad this season in comparison to recent years, with the squad traditionally featuring a host of seasoned pros such as Ian Dunbavin, Danny Webber and James Beattie.
With the average age of the side that won 3-2 at Cambridge United last Saturday just 23-years-old, Windass believes the dynamic look to the team is a major factor towards their success.
He said: “Everybody who is here is young, and that’s part of the success in my opinion.
“Everybody wants to make a career for themselves and we have something to prove in football.
“We all look towards the future and bettering ourselves; we have such a talented group of 18 and 19-year-olds who can’t break into the team, but would slot in seamlessly if a few of us moved on.
“We have no egos in the squad, just a bunch of lads that come in and just want to ping balls about and play football.”
Unbeaten in five prior to Saturday’s trip to York City, Stanley were fifth and had a game in hand after their midweek match against Hartlepool was called off due to a waterlogged pitch.
With talk of sneaking into the top seven surrounding the Lancashire club, Windass shared that he and the team have far greater ambitions.
“Everyone around the club believes we can get automatic promotion this season,” he said.