Barnsley: Johnson’s fitness challenge to Jennings

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BARNSLEY head coach Lee Johnson says that winger Dale Jennings needs to improve fitness to find a pathway back to starting in the first team.

Johnson, whose side welcome Chesterfield on Saturday in a must-win game if they are to keep their slim League One play-off hopes alive, says that Jennings, while possessing talent, is not at the requisite fitness levels he desires.

Barnsley's Dale Jennings

Barnsley's Dale Jennings

On Jennings, not involved in the defeat to Colchester on Monday, said: “There’s no doubt he’s a good player. But it is the fitness levels, really.

“You can’t play for me if you can’t run. I am not saying he can’t run, but at the moment, he’s got to do a little bit more.

“It is not his fault because at the moment he is showing a really good attitude and trying hard.

“But it is just a case of how quick it takes to recover as my game is about the transition when you win the ball back quickly in the opposition half.

“If you need time to recover, lungs-wise, you can’t do that.”

Lewin Nyatanga, who picked a nasty eye cut on Monday, will be assessed with the Reds set to make a late decision on the defender.

Johnson said: “We’re hopeful, although it’s not definite because he got a nasty cut to his eye and it really did close up.

“We have just to hope it sinks really. Hopefully, the healing process will happen.”