Teenage Owl Wildsmith relishes Tykes chance

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NEW Barnsley signing Joe Wildsmith insists he is not fazed by the prospect of a daunting debut at League One champions-elect Bristol City tomorrow.

The Sheffield Wednesday teenager joined the Reds ahead of yesterday’s 5pm loan deadline, with head coach Lee Johnson forced to act with Adam Davies out due to a slight abductor tear.

JOE WILDSMITH: Has joined Barnsley on loan from neighbours Sheffield Wednesday.

JOE WILDSMITH: Has joined Barnsley on loan from neighbours Sheffield Wednesday.

With No 1 Ross Turnbull injured and Christian Dibble on international duty with Wales Under-21s, although he could be involved at Ashton Gate on the bench, Wildsmith is being lined up for his debut.

Wildsmith’s first-team experience is limited to two games on loan at Alfreton last term, but he is relishing being catapulted into the spotlight.

He certainly has a tough act to follow in Davies, who has kept six clean sheets in Barnsley’s excellent eight-match unbeaten run, conceding just two goals.

Wildsmith, 19, said: “For me, it’s the next step in my career and I am hoping I can do my best for Barnsley.

“I have watched Bristol City a couple of times on Sky and they look a good team. But Barnsley are on little run at the moment and have shot up the league and hopefully can carry that on.

“There will be a little bit of nerves and adrenalin, but I think I will feel calm going into it and I will play my game and we will get a result.

“I have played a couple of games in front of a couple of thousand, but that’s about it.

“But I have been down at Hillsborough on the pitch doing the warm-ups and taken the atmosphere in. I don’t think it will be too overwhelming.”

Johnson considered re-registering goalkeeping coach Mark Crossley to solve a potential crisis between the posts ahead of opting for Wildsmith.

Crossley will be 46 in June, his last professional game coming over five years ago in January 2010.

Johnson said: “It’s a good signing for us. Joe has got a really good reputation. Obviously Mark Crossley has worked with him at close hand, coming from Wednesday and it’s a real good challenge for him to show what he’s about.

“We contemplated even registering Mark because (Christian) Dibble is on international duty, the No 1 is out for the season and Davies is out for a couple of weeks.”

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