Barnsley: Trio depart Oakwell as Johnson looks forward

Barnsley boss Lee Johnson will be short of three strikers as his side prepare to take on Millwall on Saturday.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 31st December 2015, 4:45 am

Simeon Jackson, Michael Smith and Conor Wilkinson have all left the club after struggling to cement a place in the starting line-up.

Canadian international Jackson is now a free agent after making just one start in his 10 appearances for the Reds, failing to score a single goal.

“Simeon Jackson is going to move on,” confirmed the Reds manager.

“He’s a great lad, he’s been excellent around the place and consistent in his personality and his training.

“He probably hasn’t had enough of an opportunity. I think he needs a run of games, he probably needs 20 games on the spin to get back flying.

“He’s got great movement, Premiership movement in my opinion. He’s been a victim of circumstance.

“He’d be right to feel unlucky that he hasn’t had many opportunities early on, but I think at one point we had seven strikers and there was a real top heavy element to it, that’s why he was unlucky not to get in.”

Smith returns to Swindon having gone his entire loan spell without scoring, whilst Wilkinson goes back to Bolton Wanderers with only one goal to his name, having not found the back of the net since his debut in August.

And after having such high hopes for the 20-year-old when he first joined the club, Johnson admitted he was a little upset with the way Wilkinson’s loan spell panned out.

“I’m disappointed because I think the boy has got all the talent in the world, but his application needs to improve,” he added.

“If he does improve his ways then the world is his oyster and he’ll have a very good career.

“But if he continues on the path he’s on then it’s going to be difficult for him to find a level that suits the talent.

“I’m sure once he matures he’ll be the player that his talent undoubtedly allows him to be.”

Meanwhile the club are working hard to extend deals for Reece Wabara, Lloyd Isgrove, Ben Pearson and Aidan White.

Wabara’s short-term contract runs until January 9, whilst Johnson is in talks with the trio of loanees and their parent clubs in a bid to keep them at Oakwell into the second half of the season.