Often Partisan

Barnsley Preview (Take two)

Hopefully, today will see Blues take on Barnsley at Oakwell after the original fixture was postponed due to a frozen pitch. The original preview can be seen here.

Barnsley FC

The Tykes have played twice since the original game was called off, losing 2-0 at Turfmoor to Burnley and then beating Portsmouth by the same score at Oakwell at the weekend, leaving them comfortably in midtable, lying 14th. In sixteen home league matches this season Barnsley have won precisely half of them, drawing two and losing the remaining six.

Unlike Blues, Barnsley have made some signings and two of them could make their Barnsley debuts in this game; winger David Cotterill having arrived from Swansea and midfielder Stephen Dawson from Leyton Orient. Barnsley may also give a first start to 17-year-old midfielder Paul Digby as David Perkins may miss out through injury.


It’s going to be a patched up squad that makes the trip up North; Stephen Carr is out and Guirane N’Daw and Nikola Zigic are rated as very doubtful. Marlon King could well return to the side, and Myhill, Spector, Caldwell and Burke are all likely to be restored to the starting line-up after being rested against Chelsea. With Carr out Blues have five fit defenders (even rookie right back Luke Hubbins is out), and I suspect there will be a place on the bench at least for Jake Jervis; there may also be a slot for someone like Callum Reilly should King not be risked.

It’s a game we could win, but not quite a must win yet. The key is who is played on the left; if it’s not Redmond or Elliott Blues may well struggle again as there isn’t any balance on that side if Hughton insists on playing Mutch or Gomis there. My honest assessment is that the longer it takes to bring in a left-sided player the more imperative it is that we at least look at what we have got – maybe bringing Mitch Hancox into the senior squad might be a short-term answer as whilst he’s raw he is most definitely left footed and he can play the role.

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5 Responses to “Barnsley Preview (Take two)”

  • I Roth says:

    Looks like the owners have given hughton precisely nothing to buy three players. We should all have a whip round to help out. disgusting. With a few pennies we could get an automatic promotion. What do they expect from the manager of Birmingham City.

  • Tony D says:

    From the noises Chris Hughton is making, it’s not lack of money that has stopped him getting in loan players, but finding the right ones who are available. Blaming PP and the Borad seems a bit of a lazy assumption to me. OK, the longer the delay, the more we worry, but on the flip side the existing squad feel he is putting faith in them, and younger players are getting invaluable experience.

    Hughton is really in a bind on the loan signings. Getting in promising Premiership youngsters usually depends on promising to give them playing time. They have to be better than the players we have got, and ousting existing squad members has consequences for team cohesion and morale, which are the main reasons why we are doing so well. I’d say that he is absolutely right to err on the side of caution. Our squad is paper thin, but the injured players apart from the ever injured Valles) seem to be very close to returning.

    The left side is a problem, and is the obvious area that needs addressing. Elliot has done a reasonable shift on that side. Fahey can also slot in there although, like Mutch, he is better in the centre (Fahey was named by one newspaper as Man of the Match against Chelsea).

    Given Ibanez’s impressive performance against Chelsea, I wonder if CH has given any consideration to playing three at the backs with wing backs? This would suit Murf and Spector, who have energy and like to bomb on. Three in midfield (N’Daw, Mutch and either Fahey or Gomis), allowing N’Daw and Mutch more creative freedom. King or Zig up front with either Redmond or Burke in a free role. Just an idea, to mix things up a bit.

  • skareggae72 says:

    I seem to remember the fans paying the £25,000 fee for Paul Peschisolido to come to the club from Toronto Blizzard in the early 90,s.
    Maybe Pannu will ask us to dip into our own pockets,although looking at the size of his wad earlier this season maybe he could fund somebody,including boosting his own popularity at the same time.

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