BARNSLEY: Reds’ loan bid for Martin Woods is rejected

Still in Rovers' plans: Ex-Miller Martin Woods. Picture: Steve uttley
Still in Rovers' plans: Ex-Miller Martin Woods. Picture: Steve uttley
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BARNSLEY boss Keith Hill tried to sign Doncaster Rovers midfielder Martin Woods on loan to bolster his injury-ravaged squad.

But Rovers’ boss Dean Saunders waved away Hill’s enquiry this week because he is keen to hold on to the experienced Scotsman who has made 100 appearances for the club.

Woods, the former Rotherham United player, has started five of Rovers’ six games this term, but Hill was still hungry to poach the player with his own midfield headache to solve. Hill also made enquiries about a loan move for an offensive midfielder and forward this week, but neither deal came to fruition.

Bobby Hassell is suspended for three matches, starting with tomorrow’s home clash with Championship leaders Blackpool, while the hard-working David Perkins has not fully recovered from a knee injury.

Perkins did take part in some light training yesterday with the Reds’ squad, alongside wingers Toni Silva and Matty Done, and promising teenage midfielder Paul Digby.

But all four players are unlikely to start against the high-flying Seasiders, with next Saturday’s away clash with Birmingham City a more realistic return date.

Speaking exclusively to The Star Hill revealed: “I wanted to sign Martin Woods but Dean Saunders didn’t want to let him go out on loan. We tried to get him but Dean was quite right to keep him because he’s still part of his plans.

“We made an enquiry because we do need a midfielder with the injuries we’ve got, but unfortunately nothing came of it.

“We’ve been looking for a midfielder with Bobby and Perks both out, but we’ve got other options and we’ll find a solution.

“We made enquiries about a couple more players, but nothing happened there.”

Hill had hoped centre-back Rob Edwards would be available for the visit of the table-topping Tangerines, with no fewer than eight players out injured.

But Edwards has had a re-occurrence of a muscle strain in training this week and is now a major doubt for the club’s 125th anniversary match and an appearance against his former club.

“Rob trained with us but he’s less than 50/50 to play at the weekend,” admitted Hill. “He’s head-strong though and he obviously wants to play against his old club. It’s very unlikely though he’ll play.”

It’s also Blackpool’s 125th anniversary match this weekend with a bumper crowd expected at Oakwell with reduced ticket prices having been a key factor in increased sales, as well as plenty of attractions for both set of supporters.

Clowns, cheerleaders, face painters, jugglers, stilt-walkers and fire-breathers will be on show at Oakwell for added entertainment, with balloon modelling and prize giveaways some of the other attractions for which Reds’ director Don Rowing hopes will create a “carnival” atmosphere at the club.

Blackpool have bought more than 2,300 tickets for the match, while £12.50 adult, £9 Under- 18 and £5 juvenile (aged 5-11) tickets can still be bought on the day from the box office.