Barnsley v Queens Park Rangers: O’Connor exits ahead of visit from leaders

BARNSLEY have terminated the contract of Scottish international Garry O’Connor by mutual consent.

The former Birmingham City and Lokomotiv Moscow striker joined the Tykes, initially on loan, in September and returned in January on a permanent deal until the summer.

He scored just four goals in 22 appearances this season, however, and had not started any of the last five games.

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Manager Mark Robins agreed to release O’Connor in the wake of a weekend victory over Bristol City which lifted the club 13 points clear of the relegation zone with six games to play.

Tonight, the Tykes host league leaders QPR who suffered a shock 4-1 defeat at struggling Scunthorpe United last weekend.

It was only the fifth defeat of the season for Rangers who are managed by Neil Warnock, the former Sheffield United manager and Barnsley winger, but they still remain seven points clear of second -placed Norwich City, who lost at Swansea City, and are 10 points clear of the chasing pack.

Barnsley tonight will be without Argentinian midfielder Hugo Colace, who suffered a bruised knee at the weekend, but defender Jason Shackell will return to the side after illness.

Rangers are likely to be boosted by the return of Adel Taarabt, the Moroccan striker who has scored 15 goals this season but missed the Scunthorpe defeat with abdominal trouble. Striker Heidar Helguson and defender Kaspars Gorkss are also set to be recalled by Warnock at the expense of Rob Hulse and Dan Shittu.

Last six games: Barnsley DWDLLW, QPR WLWWWL.

Last time: Barnsley 0 QPR 1; April 24, 2010; Championship.

Referee: A Bates (Staffordshire).