Barnsley FC boss Valerien Ismael on a 'big issue' with fitness of Carlton Morris

BARNSLEY head coach Valerien Ismael has revealed that the club have been managing an injury issue with Carlton Morris in the past month - with the striker having followed a specially-designed training programme to make sure he is available for matches.

Morris, a January acquisition from Norwich City, has enjoyed an excellent start to his Oakwell career, netting six times and proving a handful for opposing defences with his physicality and work-rate.

Due to a groin concern which he is managing, the striker has started the club’s last eight matches from the bench, but the situation is certainly working given recent results with Morris having been successfully introduced from the bench on a number of occasions.

Ismael, whose side visit Coventry on Sunday - seeking to take a further key step towards play-off participation next month, said: “To keep the players together is the most important thing, especially the key players. You have to manage them all the time.

Carlton Morris. Picture: PA WIRE

“We had a big issue with Carlton in the last month with his groin after the game with QPR and it was (about) managing the time between the games to keep him fit for the game and take him out after the game to have his own training session all the time. It is a challenge.

“But now, we have the experience and our purpose all the time is to keep the players all together.

“Even if we have the feeling that a player needs more recovery or we need something special, we will do it because at the minute it is about keeping them fresh to finish the job."

Meanwhile, Ismael has confirmed that midfielder Herbie Kane could return to training next week while defenders Liam Kitching and Ben Williams has also taken ‘a big step’ in their rehabilitation this week.

Kane has been sidelined with a knee problem sustained in the final training session ahead of the home game with Sheffield Wednesday on March 20.

Kitching is yet to feature since his arrival in January from Forest Green due to a groin injury and Williams have been out since with a serious knee injury in August.

Ismael added: “At the minute, we have all the same players without Liam Kitching, Ben Williams and Herbie Kane.

"But Liam and Ben made a big step this week and they are starting to take part with the team in the warm-up and it is good to see the guys try to integrate now. But it is still a long way to team training, but it is the first step in the right direction.

“Herbie made a big step today as well and we hope he can come back in training next week. Otherwise, it is all good. All the players are ready, determined and motivated to attack the final big week and push and the first step is Coventry on Sunday."