Reds: Jack in the Hunt to win fitness battle

Barnsley boss Danny Wilson
Barnsley boss Danny Wilson
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Barnsley manager Danny Wilson is hoping defender Jack Hunt will be declared fit for tomorrow’s Yorkshire derby at Doncaster Rovers.

Crystal Palace full-back Hunt hobbled off with an ankle injury with 17 minutes remaining of last Saturday’s 2-2 home draw with Ipswich Town.

Hunt didn’t train with the squad for the early part of this week, but joined in for the first time yesterday.

“Jack’s got heavy bruising on his ankle, but we’re hopeful he’s going to be okay for Saturday,” Wilson told The Star.

“It was a tackle that went unseen apart from by us, maybe the referee thought it was a bit innocuous.

“But it was a strong challenge and Jack couldn’t continue because of it. He’ll train with us later this week though and should be okay for Saturday.”

Wilson welcomes back Emmanuel Frimpong, one their new recruits, who began his Barnsley career with a red card on his debut.

The former Arsenal midfielder has now served his one-match ban and is likely to feature against Rovers in what Wilson views as a “massive” game for the Reds.

“He’ll [Emmanuel] openly admit that he was a little bit over-exuberant against Sheffield Wednesday, but he’s a good player and he just wants to prove how good he is. That’s a good thing,” added Wilson.

“I’ve had a little word with him and he knows he’s got to curb that enthusiasm a bit, but that’s not something which is going to happen overnight.

“We’ll keep monitoring the situation and I’m sure he’ll show just how good a player he is. You don’t come through the Arsenal youth system if you’re not very good.”

Rivals Rovers are seven points above the Reds in the standings, although Paul Dickov’s team have played two more games. And Wilson knows victory – which would be the Reds’ first for four games – could prove pivotal in their quest to avoid relegation from the Championship.

“There’s extra pressure because it’s a derby game, but we’re not going to go there [to the Keepmoat Stadium] with any fear,” said Wilson.

Meanwhile, Wilson has signed ex- Manchester City youngster Dominic McHale on an 18-month contract.