Wilson keen for inspirational Pedersen to be fit to lead line

Marcus Pedersen (Picture: AP).
Marcus Pedersen (Picture: AP).
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Barnsley are sweating on the fitness of striker Marcus Pedersen ahead of tomorrow’s Oakwell hosting of Brighton.

The injury-hit on-loan striker has only just returned to the Reds’ team after two months out, and helped inspire back-to-back wins against Reading and Yeovil.

But the 23-year-old Norwegian faces a fitness test today on his hamstring after limping off at Yeovil in the first half.

Tykes manager Danny Wilson hopes he can keep his in-form strike pairing of Pedersen and Chris O’Grady intact tomorrow.

“We are going to have a look at him (late today) to assess whether he will be available for us at the weekend,” said Wilson.

“Fingers crossed. I have hardly seen the boy, but the two games he has started in recent times he has been exceptional. He has given us a real tempo to our games.

“He’s inspired and kicked on Chris O’Grady as well. From the front, the boys have set the tempo for the rest of the team.”

Pedersen has impressed in his first season in English football, having joined from Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem on loan in August last season.

His two goals in a Reds shirt have come in Yorkshire derbies at Oakwell, in the 2-1 win over Huddersfield Town and a 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday.

After the FA Cup on January 4 he did not feature for over two months before returning for the 1-0 home loss to Bournemouth.

Successive wins – 3-1 at Reading and 4-1 at Yeovil – followed and Wilson hopes for more of the same tomorrow.

Leeds United failed to do Barnsley any favours in midweek, losing 1-0 at home to the Reds’ relegation rivals Charlton Athletic, with Ross McCormack missing a stoppage-time penalty.

Barnsley have 35 points with eight games remaining, including trips to Bolton, Charlton, Derby and Middlesbrough, while after tomorrow’s visit of Brighton, Burnley, Leeds and QPR are due to play at Oakwell.