‘Tired’ Reds are happy to relax

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BARNSLEY boss Mark Robins has given his “tired” squad some welcome time off this week with the international break in full swing.

The Reds don’t play again until a week on Saturday when they journey to London to face Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

And Robins has told The Star the international break could not had come at a better time for his jaded players, especially with five first-team players sidelined through injuries.

“The players looked tired on Saturday [at home to Reading], both teams looked tired,” said Robins.

“It wasn’t a pretty game, but we had enough chances to win it. Reading were there for the taking.

“But the international break has come at a good time for us; it gives us a chance to recharge our batteries and get a lot of players back from injury.

“The players are going to have a few days off and then we’ll get back to a normal week of training next week.

“It’s a case of getting back re-reshed for the final part of the season. I know a number of other clubs are having some time off this week, but for us it gives us the chance to try and get everybody fit in time for the Palace game.”

Robins was forced to shuffle his pack for the visit of the Royals on Saturday with midfielder Nathan Doyle asked to play as a makeshift centre-back with first-choice defender Paul McShane sidelined with a hamstring injury.

It was hoped versatile defender Bobby Hassell would be fit to play but, despite training at the end of last week, he was still struggling with a calf injury.

“I didn’t have a lot of options so I had to move Nathan into the back four and Hugo Colace got his chance in midfield, but that wasn’t ideal because he’s only just got back from injury,” added Robins.

McShane is a real doubt to for the Eagles clash, but Robins revealed that the Hull City loan defender - who has stayed at Oakwell for treatment on his injury - is making good progress after an initial prognosis said he’d be sidelined for eight weeks.