TV audition for Hill and his travellers

Recovered: Rob Edwards looks set to return after his hamstring injury.        Pictuire: DEAN ATKINS

Recovered: Rob Edwards looks set to return after his hamstring injury. Pictuire: DEAN ATKINS

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BARNSLEY boss Keith Hill is hopeful of welcoming back some key players for Saturday’s trip to Portsmouth.

The Reds will travel to the south coast this afternoon in readiness for their revised 5.20pm kick-off, with defender Rob Edwards and striker Craig Davies expected to be included. Edwards has recovered from hamstring injury, while Davies is approaching full match fitness having return to first team training after groin injury.

Defender Bobby Hassell is also in contention having recovered from the groin injury which saw him limp off against Coventry City, their last match before the international break 12 days ago. However, no fewer than six other players are nursing niggles and knocks.

David Perkins, Matt Done and Danny Haynes are all facing a battle to be fit with hamstring injuries, while Reuben Noble-Lazarus (ankle) and Goran Lovre (knee) are also out. Luke Potter has suffered a minor setback in his recovery from the knee operation which has seen him sidelined since last summer.

Hill said: “I’m looking forward to the prospect of playing live on TV, but the preparation and recovery is going to be quite difficult because we kick off after everybody else.

“The trip in itself is enormous, but we’re going there to get three points and that’s our main objective, everything else we can deal with.

“The international break was a great opportunity to rest, regenerate and an to go watching players. There’s a lot uncut diamonds out there - and there’s a lot of diamonds that are currently playing in every league in England.

“We did have games covered and players watched, but it was mainly recuperation for the players and a lot of downtime with their family. Now we’re looking forward to the next phase of the season.

“I’m really happy with the way things are developing at this football club. Like anything, things that are worth anything takes time to build. And that’s what we’re trying to do.

“We back the way that we’re trying to do things and, in the long-term, it will work. There’s no question about that.

“Our plans are formed on the training pitch. The players have to be fully inclusive in those plans.

“When I’m booking a holiday I always going fully inclusive, I don’t expect any of the players going self-catering.

“If you look at this football club it should be a fully inclusive holiday. That’s how we’re going to get our success.”

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