By Heck, it won’t be an easy game for travellers

Barnsley's caretaker boss Paul Heckingbottom.

Barnsley's caretaker boss Paul Heckingbottom.

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Caretaker Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom believes his side are in for a tough task today despite Crewe’s lowly league position.

Crewe lie five points from safety after a run that has seen them win just once in their last 12 games.

Whilst the Reds have soared to within six points of the play-off places since Crewe took three points at Oakwell in October. Yet Heckingbottom still expects a close clash. “It’s one of those games where we both need points for difference reasons, it’ll be tense,” he said.

“Both teams try and play good, attacking football so there’ll be a lot of chances and hopefully we’ll be able to take ours. Every single year they seem to be down there but they always seem to put a run together. They find some real good form and get out of trouble. We need to make sure they’re not getting any sort of good run or good form from today.”

The Reds will be without Aidy White after he sustained ankle damage in the win over Doncaster.

Adam Hammill is suspended following his sending off against Bury on Tuesday night.

Heckingbottom admitted it’ll be a lengthy spell on the sidelines for the full-back but hopes he will be able to feature again before the season is out.

“He’s had his scan and there’s a rupture of one ligament, the least important as such, but there’s a grade two tear to the more important one,” he said.

“We’re going to treat it conservatively at the minute through rehab. The specialist was happy that he didn’t need surgery.

“We know it’s going to be a while, but hopefully we’ll see him again this year.“

The former Leeds’ man’s disappointment is George Williams’ gain and the youngster has impressed since deputising at left-back in White’s absence.

“George Williams has stepped up at left-back and is trying his best to keep his place in the team,” Heckingbottom added.

“You can see every minute he’s playing, he’s putting his body on the line for the team. That’s what we’re expecting and that’s what we’ll be expecting with whoever comes into the side.”

Conor Hourihane and Marley Watkins will face late fitness tests before travelling with hamstring and toe niggles respectively.

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