Barnsley: Marley Watkins ready for ‘hectic’ festive programme

Marley Watkins
Marley Watkins
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Marley Watkins is looking forward to a ‘hectic’ Christmas period with Barnsley.

After seeing out his suspension for a petulant red card against Nottingham Forest, the pacey forward returned to the fold and set up Ryan Williams’ dramatic winner at Cardiff City last weekend.

Watkins and company will have had nine days off before hosting Blackburn Rovers at Oakwell on Boxing Day, but they are now gearing themselves up for four games in the space of 13 days.

“It’s just non-stop, hectic and it seems to be more about recovery than training really,” said Watkins, who has scored five times this term. “It feels like you’re always playing because it’s game after game but we’re all happy about it.

“But, we’ll just take it game by game and try and take as many points as possible.

“It’s a great chance to get on a run and just keep going with so many games in a short space of time.”

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Unlike the Reds’ faithful tucking into their traditional turkey Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, Watkins will be going for a healthier option.

Despite having to lay off the festivities in the Watkins household, the 26-year-old believes it is all worth it when you get out on the field on Boxing Day.

“You’ve got to take it easy [Christmas Day] I suppose,” admitted Watkins.

“You’ve got to have a boring Christmas but it’s all worth it because it’s all about putting on a performance for the fans with their hangovers.

“It’s part and parcel of the game and you’ve got to be professional.

“I’ll be having some pasta, a bit of turkey and some veg for my Christmas dinner.”

Meanwhile, captain Conor Hourihane has reportedly put contract talks with the Reds on hold until the summer.

Scottish hard-hitting duo Celtic United and Rangers are both keen on the Irish midfielder, with fellow Championship side Aston Villa also interested in Hourihane.

The Reds’ talisman’s current deal expires at the end of this season, with clubs able to agree a pre-contract with the 25-year-old ahead of a summer move.

The powers that be at the club now have a conundrum as to whether or not they cash in on the highly-rated central midfielder in January or wait until the summer where he could potentially leave for free.