Ten Barnsley FC players miss training - and more absences could put Cup tie into doubt

Poya Asbaghi. Picture: PA.Poya Asbaghi. Picture: PA.
Poya Asbaghi. Picture: PA.
BARNSLEY head coach Poya Asbaghi has confirmed that the Reds are heavily down on numbers ahead of Saturday's FA Cup home tie with Barrow - and further potential absences could put the third-round clash in jeopardy.

The Reds chief said that ten players missed training on Thursday due to either injury or positive Covid tests.

Thus far, four players have tested positive and three of those in isolation are not available for the Bluebirds tie.

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As it stands, Asbaghi envisages that the game will go ahead - and he wants to play the tie. But a number of additional Covid absentees could potentially place the tie in danger.

Asbaghi, who reported no fresh transfer developments, said: "We had a pretty special week. We had some smaller injuries with more players and Covid cases as well.

"Today, I counted 10 players missing from today's training - if you combine long and short-term injuries and the Covid situation. It is not a really good situation, but I guess there are similar situations around in England, not only with us.

"With the number we had on the training pitch (on Thursday), we should be able to proceed with the game. But of course, if we get more cases starting from today until tomorrow and into Saturday, we will end up in a situation like Stoke where or Nottingham (Forest) were where we also had to postpone that game. But I really hope we don't get to that point."

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Two players who are definitely out are the injured duo of Cauley Woodrow and Michal Helik and while not wishing to put a specific timescale on their return, Asbaghi believes that next week's key home games with Stoke and Blackpool may arrive too early for the pair.

Aapo Halme and Obbi Oulare are definitely out.

On Woodrow and Helik, he added: "We will see. It is still difficult to know about Cauley and Mich maybe has a shorter way back. But he is still not training with us. We will have to wait and see what happens.

"With the league games next week, it could be too early."