BARNSLEY boss Keith Hill will be without a string of key players for this afternoon’s home clash with Nottingham Forest.
Midfielder David Perkins is expected to be sidelined with a knee injury for as long as six weeks, while defender Bobby Hassell has yet to recover from a knee injury.
And, to give Hill a further headache, winger Jim O’Brien has not yet recovered from a troublesome groin injury and midfielder Nathan Doyle is out with a calf injury.
“It is was it is but I’m reasonably happy going into this game with the squad of players we’ve got going into this weekend’s game,” said Hill. “They get my full support.
“We haven’t managed to recruit anybody this week on the loan front, so it’s the same squad we had as last weekend.
“When you evaluate and assess what we’ve achieved this season and where we are now [in the table], well, we’re probably missing six influential players.
“Trying to replace those players has been difficult, as well as trying to maintain the type of success we’ve had previously.
“So the loan market is the only option we’ve got available to get new players.
“But trying to get the right player with the right DNA is very difficult because clubs aren’t prepared to release players if they’re doing well, regardless of what division they might be playing in.”
Hill is keen to bolster his ranks in the loan market if he can do, but has no hesitation in giving some of the club’s Academy scholars like Paul Digby, Reuben Noble-Lazarus or Alastair Taylor a chance.
“I’ve found it very difficult this season to get the right calibre of player for the pound we’re spending,” he said.
“There are players available, but a lot of the time they’re not in our price structure. That’s nothing to moan about, but it does make life much more difficult.
“I’m not a magician, but I’m someone who works hard to make sure we break even.”
The Reds beat Forest 3-1 at home last season, but Hill is expecting a tough test from today’s visitors who won at Birmingham last week, a second game unbeaten.
However, Forest are likely to be without a few players through international duty.
“They’ve assembled a good squad of players, but they are going to be missing a few,” added Hill.
“It’s going to be a difficult fixture for us, but it’s one that we’re up too.
“We’ve got to be playing the match in a creative manner, but not under any pressure.
“The’ve got some good players and are playing with confidence having won their last two games, so they’ll feel as if they’ve turned a corner.”