Paul McShane, Steve Foster, Bobby Hassell, Jacob Mellis and Danny Haynes could all one again be in contention for a starting place against Crystal Palace on Saturday after being unavailable due to injury.
The availability of McShane and Foster will give The Reds confidence going into the game after being forced to go with a makeshift defence in the last few fixtures. Losing so many players in key positions has no doubt affected the balance of the team – the return of Jacob Mellis, who performed impressively prior to his injury, should give the team a creative spark that has been lacking in recent weeks.
With a wealth of genuine quality front men to choose from, Mark Robins now has to decide which of these he is going to leave out. Garry O’Connor has remained relatively injury free during his time with The Reds however since his permanent move the goals seem to have dried up even if his work rate hasn’t. After a few, lets say “dodgy” performances, Marlon
Harewood appears to be nearing full-fitness and looks like he may be able to fire in the goals to secure Barnsley a decent final place in the Championship table – however, he can be recalled by Blackpool who may find him useful as they are pulled ever closer to a relegation scrap in the Premier League. Mark Robins has described Danny Haynes as “raw” – yes, he is young and needs to improve on areas of the game, but his start to life in red shirt at Barnsley has been pretty impressive although in order to include O’Connor, Robins is likely to continue using Haynes on the wing.
Lets not forget about Bobby Hassell of course; possibly not an automatic choice in any position, but being able to slot in anywhere across the defence or midfield is real asset to Barnsley FC. A true example of a modern utility player.
- Chelsea management expect big things from Jacob Mellis (tribalfootball.com)