POSTPONED - Barnsley v Oldham: Wilson wants Reds to end Yuletide handouts

TONIGHT’S GAME HAS BEEN POSTPONEDFOR the past few years, Oakwell has seen a little too much Christmas goodwill on offer – and it is a situation that Danny Wilson would dearly like to rectify.

Barnsley manager Danny Wilson

Last season, the Reds suffered festive back-to-back home losses to Bolton Wanderers and Derby County and in 2012-13 Birmingham City and Blackburn Rovers emerged victorious from Yuletide games at Oakwell.

The setback to Rovers was the prelude to Keith Hill losing his job in December, 2012, while in the 2010-11 campaign, Burnley took the spoils in a victory over the Reds on Boxing Day.

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Reds fans will be hoping that the pattern of Red Rose sides winning at Oakwell changes tonight when Oldham, who have lost their last four games, are the visitors, with Wilson’s side heading into the game on the back of a narrow 1-0 loss at Preston.

The performance levels at Deepdale, particularly his side’s stout defending, were lauded by Wilson, with the display commendable given that the Reds were without several key players.

Wilson said: “The work ethic was fantastic and to go there in the vein of form Preston were in, I thought, at times, it was a good performance.

“We now need to take that and build on it for the Oldham game.”

Wilson will run a check on several players ahead of tonight’s game, with Devante Cole missing the Preston game with a glut problem and captain Martin Cranie sidelined with a swollen knee.

Former North End winger Keith Treacy, who was named on the bench but had to pull out after suffering flu symptoms, will also be assessed.

The Reds remain without the services of Sam Winnall, Joe Dudgeon and James Bree, but better news sees Ross Turnbull return from suspension, with Adam Davies taking his place in the 1-0 loss at Preston.

George Williams made his debut as a second-half substitute at Deepdale and may be handed his first start against Oldham, who have failed to win in their last nine visits to Oakwell.

Young Reds defender Mason Holgate is being monitored by Premier League duo Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Everton.

The 18-year-old signed his first professional contract at Oakwell in September – and made his first-team debut against Doncaster Rovers earlier this month.

Holgate is highly rated by the club’s backroom staff.

Last six games: Barnsley DDLWWL; Oldham DWLLLL.

Referee: S Mathieson (Cheshire).

Last time: Barnsley 4 Oldham 0; October 1, 2005; League One.