Barnsley chief Poya Asbaghi aims to be ready to return to the fray

ATROCIOUS form, a lack of goals and winning mentality, transfer market difficulties, injuries and now Covid.

It is fair to say that head coach Poya Asbaghi has had to contend with plenty since his arrival at Barnsley in November and not much of it for the better.

The Reds informed the EFL on two occasions this week that they have been unable to play separate home fixtures against Stoke and Blackpool due to a number of positive Covid cases within their squad. They are inactive today.

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It is the latest issue to befall Asbaghi, who is having to adapt accordingly in terms of devising training sessions with reduced numbers, while also being mindful of the condition of players when they do return to the fray, specifically after Covid, in terms of not overloading them.

Plenty to cope with: Poya Asbaghi.  Picture: Tony JohnsonPlenty to cope with: Poya Asbaghi.  Picture: Tony Johnson
Plenty to cope with: Poya Asbaghi. Picture: Tony Johnson

It is not straightforward. But then nothing has been at Barnsley this season.

Asbaghi said: “As long as we have some players available to train, we don’t see any reason to cancel training.

“We have to adapt training to the players that can train to make sure they know what to do in their positions and have competitive training.

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“It is difficult (for those who come back from Covid). If you are sick, you are sick. We have a schedule for them to come back successfully in a good way.

“We know with this virus that it affects your ability to train and have good rhythm in your breathing.

“A lot of players who come back suffer on the first day and it’s really different, player to player. You cannot underestimate the effect of Covid once you come back.

“We have to manage their minutes and training, so that when they come back, they cannot just come back into training and train as much as the players who have been training regularly.”

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The hope is that a number of players who missed last weekend’s Cup tie with Barrow due to Covid will be successfully assimilated back into training next week, with Barnsley due to return to action next weekend at St Andrew’s.

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