Barnsley: McNulty to return after injury lay off

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BARNSLEY boss David Flitcroft has revealed defender Jimmy McNulty WILL play some part in tomorrow’s FA Cup fifth round clash away to MK Dons.

McNulty has not played for over a month since suffering a troublesome ankle injury.

But with an important Championship clash with Wolves at Oakwell on Tuesday night, Flitcroft is ready to use McNulty as he tries to find the balance to keep his squad fresh.

“He [McNulty] will be involved for sure,” said Flitcroft. “It’s great to have him back, he’s in front of where he should have been with his injury which is good news for us. He wants to get back in the team and he’s trained this week, so he’ll be included.”

McNulty made 46 appearances for the Reds last season but injuries have plagued him this season, with a hamstring injury having forced him out for three months after the opening game of the season.

And then he rolled his ankle after his comeback and has not played since 12 January when the Reds tasted a sweet 2-0 home Yorkshire derby victory over Leeds United at Oakwell.

But the former Macclesfield Town, Brighton and Stockport County defender has a battle on his hands to cement a regular starting place with the experienced Stephen Foster, Martin Cranie and Tom Kennedy having all blossomed in a central three partnership, with Scott Golbourne and Rory Delap employed as wing-backs.

Unbeaten in their last seven matches in all competitions, the Reds have just conceded four goals and kept four clean sheets as they continue their quest to haul themselves out of the relegation zone.

However, this weekend’s FA Cup clash provides a welcome distraction for Flitcroft and his resilient side, full of confidence after wins over Championship rivals Burnley and Hull City in the earlier round of the competition.

Flitcroft rewarded his side with some time at the Tankersley Manor Hotel in Barnsley following Saturday’s fine 3-2 win over promotion-pushers Middlesbrough.