Video - Injuries to key players bite deep for Barnsley at wrong time of year

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PAUL HECKINGBOTTOM has confirmed that Barnsley will be without the injured quartet of Aidy White, James Bree, George Smith and Marley Watkins for Saturday’s crunch game against relegated Colchester United.

All are progressing in their rehabilitation, but this weekend’s appointment - in a game which could see the Reds clinch League One play-off participation if they win and other results go their way - comes too soon.

OUT OF ACTION: Barnsley's Marley Watkins is out this weekend.

OUT OF ACTION: Barnsley's Marley Watkins is out this weekend.

Heckingbottom said: “They are still struggling. They are progressing, but I can’t see anyone being back.

“If they are, it’s a bonus. But at the minute, we are planning without Adi, James, George Smith and Marley.”

Meanwhile, Heckingbottom says that former FC Halifax Town striker Sean Tuton has done his first team cause no harm by firing a hat-trick for the under-21s in their 3-3 draw with Leeds United this week - and believes he has laid a bit of a marker to be involved between now and season’s end.

He said: “We have been having lots of chats with Tuts to push him and drive him forward and work on aspects of his game.

Barnsley's caretaker mananger, Paul Heckingbottom has been impressed with former FC Halifax Town striker Sean Tuton Picture: Bruce Rollinson

Barnsley's caretaker mananger, Paul Heckingbottom has been impressed with former FC Halifax Town striker Sean Tuton Picture: Bruce Rollinson

“I am really pleased. The other week, he came and saw me for the first time - and you think you are getting somewhere now - and he responded with three good strikers’ goals.

“You can’t knock someone in good form and if he’s producing it in training as he did in the last reserve game we could get, he has laid a marker down, which is good.”