Walsall v Barnsley: Jennings returns to provide welcome lift

Danny Wilson
Danny Wilson
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WALSALL’S Banks’s Stadium holds happy memories from Barnsley’s last visit there – and a rewind of the clock with another sweet victory would certainly suffice this afternoon.

The West Midlands venue was where the Reds secured their play-off spot on the final day of the 2005-06 regular season – a fateful campaign which ended in promotion to the Championship at the Millennium Stadium.

A late goal from the spot from Daniel Nardiello sealed a 2-1 win and while three points today would hardly resonate like that success, it would provide a big shot in the arm to the club and Danny Wilson.

After an upturn at the start of November, Barnsley have seen their form dip again in a four-match winless streak, with the Reds – by Wilson’s own admission – lucky to take Conference outfit Chester to an FA Cup replay in Cheshire on Tuesday after a poor 0-0 draw at Oakwell last Sunday.

A congested treatment room is compounding matters, with Wilson awaiting on a number of players ahead of today’s game, including Peter Ramage and James Bailey, with Sam Winnall still ruled out.

But rather than bemoan his lot, Wilson is keeping calm and carrying on. He said: “That is football sometimes. One moment, you have got a full complement and the next you are struck down by injuries.

“You have just got to get on with it. What we always say is that it is an opportunity for others to come in and stake a claim.”

One boost arrives in the return to fitness of Dale Jennings and after a fitful season, Wilson is hoping he can provide a timely boost.

He added: “I am delighted Dale Jennings is back. It has been intermittent this season for him, for one reason or another.

“But, hopefully, he has put all that behind him and he’ll be with us for the Christmas period.”