Timely rest for Reds welcomed by Flitcroft ahead of Hull clash

BARnSLEY chief David Flitcroft admits that having a free week to prepare for Saturday’s crunch derby with Hull City is a massive benefit to his weary troops.

David Flitcroft

The second-from-bottom Reds dug deep to secure what could yet be a priceless survival point at Nottingham Forest on Saturday, putting in another exhaustive shift in a 0-0 Championship stalemate when they were on the back foot for long spells.

Ahead of the game, the Oakwell chief said that his side were feeling the pressure, physically and mentally, following a gruelling week which had seen them cope with the fall-out from a six-goal home hammering against Charlton and the devastation of conceding a last-gasp equaliser in a 1-1 midweek draw with Derby.

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Flitcroft, critical of his side’s schedule in recent weeks, said: “The boys worked one of their toughest shifts on Saturday.

“I am just glad we have not got a game on Tuesday as this week will be about recovery now as they are out on their feet.

“The likes of Mells (Jacob Mellis) and Perks (David Perkins) were out on their feet on Saturday and it was a big, tough shift for them.

“When you have not got the ball for long periods, mentally, emotionally and physically, it is tough.

“So it is great to have an open week and the first one in a while. That will enable us to prepare for a massive game against Hull.

“It enables the likes of Kelvin Etuhu and Rob Edwards to get another week closer and we are going to get stronger.”

Meanwhile, captain Luke Steele has singled out rookie defender Andrai Jones for praise following his cool display on full debut against Forest – having only made his maiden Reds appearance from the substitutes’ bench four days earlier.

He said: “Andrai did really well. He is a confident lad and has now got his chance.

“It is sink or swim when you make your debut for a team and you are a young lad and it can be tough, but he did really well against Derby and Forest.

“He gave a corner away early against Forest, but just got on with it and kept growing in confidence and showed character.

“I am more than happy playing behind him and he is only going to get better.”