Barnsley boss Danny Wilson is sweating on the fitness of Bobby Hassell ahead of tomorrow’s FA Cup clash with League One Coventry City.
The versatile Hassell has a calf injury and will have a late fitness test to see if he plays any part against the Sky Blues.
Wilson has also asked Stoke City for their permission to allow new loan signing Brek Shea to play in the cup.
Winger Shea made his Reds debut in the club’s battling 1-1 away draw with Birmingham City on New Year’s Day, but may be forced to wait to make his home debut at Oakwell.
“We’ll have to wait and see whether we get clearance for him to play, but we’ll keep trying on that,” revealed Wilson. “We’ve got him initially for 28 days then we’ll look at it [the deal] after that. In an ideal world we’d take him for the rest of the season, but it’s not going to happen.
“But from our point of view Brek wants to play games because he wants to play for the United States national team in the World Cup. He wants people to see him play.”
And Wilson could also include any one of a quartet of loan players who have returned to the club after their deals ended.
Striker Chris Dagnall has returned, ironically from Coventry, and could be included. Defender/midfielder Reuben Noble-Lazarus (Scunthorpe United), defender Jimmy McNulty (Tranmere Rovers) and winger Dale Jennings (MK Dons) have also returned and resumed training.
Wilson stressed that the FA Cup is not a time to experiment.
“We’ll be fielding the strongest side we can because the Cup is important.
“It’s important for the income, but it’s important to get a win in front of our fans. That will give us a bit of confidence to take into the league programme.
“We’ve had an intense period which has been difficult, but Coventry will be a good challenge for us. We need a bit of a spark because it’s been difficult because we’re not winning games.”