MARK Robins is poised to bump into one or two familiar faces when his Barnsley squad meet Sven Goran Eriksson’s Leicester City at the Walkers Stadium this afternoon.
During his playing days, Robins spent three years at Leicester, experiencing a relegation, promotion to the top flight via the play-offs and a League Cup success. He plundered 17 goals in 74 appearances before leaving for Spanish outfit Ourense in 1998.
“It was part of his playing career; Mark has got a lot of time for Leicester,” said Barnsley assistant manager John Breckin.
“He doesn’t live too far away from the area. Mark talks quite a bit about his Leicester days so it will be nice for him to go there and hopefully we will put a performance in and get a good result.”
Robins expects the Foxes to provide stern opposition for the Reds, who are searching for their first away win of the season against a top half side.
Robins, who could be without defender Steve Foster for a third successive match because of a shin injury, said: “Leicester get good crowds, have a very good manager who has coached at the highest level and are eager to get back into the Premier League. To try and help them do that Sven has gone out and brought in top-flight players, like Yakubu from Everton.
“But we are looking forward to the challenge. I’m sure we will have a good away support down there and it is a chance for us to pit our wits against one of the bigger clubs in our division.”
Loan signings Jacob Mellis and Frank Nouble are expected to retain their places in Robins’ starting line-up, having impressed in the midweek victory over bottom-of-the-table Preston North End. Despite featuring prominently in the latter stages against the Lilywhites, Jacob Butterfield and Jim O’Brien are likely to be on the substitutes bench.
Paul Gallagher is pushing for a first-team recall for Leicester following his half-hour cameo against Sheffield United. Chelsea left-back Patrick Van Aanholt is in contention to make his home debut.