Give me a break ... Hill bemoans defensive setback

Have your say

BARNSLEY boss Keith Hill cannot get rid of his defensive headache.

Hill was hoping centre-backs Stephen Foster, Jimmy McNulty and Martin Cranie would return to training yesterday.

But none of the trio were fit enough to join in with the rest of the squad despite a week of recovering and rehabilitation in the first week of the international break.

And The Star understands that Foster is the only player who stands any chance of featuring in some capacity in Saturday’s away clash with Charlton.

“I came into training and I was slightly disappointed because I was led to believe those three players would be back,” Hill told The Star. “But unfortunately the news was not as encouraging as I’d hoped it. It’s a real shame but we’ve got to deal with the problem and find a solution.”

Hill recently loaned centre-back Rob Edwards to League Two Fleetwood Town on a one-month trial, while fellow defender Lee Collins is on loan with League One Shrewsbury.

“I’m mindful of the fact we’ve got defenders out on loan, but even if we wanted to get back we couldn’t because we can’t recall them at this stage,” admitted Hill.

“What looked an ideal situation is now an un-ideal situation, but I’ve got permutations and could play with three at the back against Charlton.

“Scott Wiseman has come in and done really well at centre-back, but ideally I want the likes of McNulty and Fozzie back, and Cranie as well.”

Winger Jim O’Brien has not yet been allowed to contact training following his shoulder operation.