BARNSLEY will be without long-serving defender Bobby Hassell for tomorrow’s clash at Derby County.
The experienced right-back has failed to recover from the calf strain which saw him limp off after just 25 minutes of last Saturday’s home defeat to Norwich City.
Reds boss Mark Robins was hopeful Hassell would be fit to play. Kieran Trippier, on-loan from Manchester City is set to deputise.
“Bobby’s out, which is a shame, but we’ve got options in that position,” Robins told The Star. “He’s still not recovered from his calf injury, but hopefully he will be back next week.”
And Robins also revealed he is sweating on the fitness of three other key first team players.
Skipper Jason Shackell had to have emergency dental treatment following a collision with Grant Holt.
Midfielders Jacob Mellis and Nathan Doyle are facing late fitness tests to see if they have recovered from hamstring and calf injuries respectively.
Chelsea loan recruit Mellis and former Hull City ace Doyle both missed the club’s 2-0 defeat to Norwich at Oakwell six days ago.
But Robins is hopeful he will have a full strength squad to choose from, with the exception of Hassell and Hugo Colace (calf).
“We’re going to wait until the end of the week to see how are injuries are looking,” added Robins, who is hopeful left-back Jay McEveley may make the substitute’s bench despite suffering from a virus this week. It would be McEveley’s first game since October following his medial knee ligament operation.
“It’s going to be touch-and-go, but we’ll wait until our last training session to see where everyone is.”
The Reds drew 1-1 with the Rams earlier in the season when they clashed at Oakwell and have not lost to tomorrow’s hosts in the last five meetings between the two clubs.
But Robins is well aware the hosts will be hungry to return to winning way in the wake of their 3-1 loss at Pride Park to Doncaster Rovers in midweek.
“I went to watch Derby on Tuesday night, it should be a good game,” said Robins.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for [Derby boss] Nigel Clough. I know him well, he’s a top football man from a top football family.
“No doubt Nigel will make some changes from Tuesday night, but whichever side they put out, it’s going to be a good test for us.”