Two doubts but Barnsley FC focused on winning as Portsmouth have their eyes on promotion party

Barnsley have a couple of injury niggles to weigh up ahead of Tuesday's League One game at Portsmouth but manager Neill Collins insists there is no danger of trying to protect people from the play-offs.

The Reds are still a win away from achieving that, although if Portsmouth get the point they need to secure promotion, Lincoln City could still rule themselves out of the running by failing to win at sixth-placed Oxford United.

After two wins in the last nine, though, it is less about league tables, more about momentum for Collins as he assesses minor injuries to Jon Russell and Luca Connell.

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"As you can imagine with Jon, he came off early on Saturday so less than 48 hours after that we're still just assessing the extent of that," he said. "Luca's happened on Friday, so not much longer. Both will be late decisions for Tuesday night.

FOCUS: Barnsley coach Neill CollinsFOCUS: Barnsley coach Neill Collins
FOCUS: Barnsley coach Neill Collins

"Ultimately we'll always do what we think's best for the team. Sometimes that's the short-term, sometimes it's long-term but at this stage of the season you can't look too much past the next game.

"We'll take it each day as it comes with these injuries and try and make the best decisions with our physio staff.

"We'll get together and through our mutual knowledge decide the best approach but ultimately the player plays a big part in that, what they think they can and can't do.

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"I'll pick the team I think is best suited to win the game. I'm not thinking about play-offs at all, I'm thinking about inning the next league game. What's difficult is missing key players, that's the challenge.

"If they were available they'd play because they'd want to play and we want to put out our strongest team but with the issues we've got we need to look at alternatives and that might bring up something we've not previously thought of, which could be a positive."

Josh Benson will definitely be missing after the latest injury in a season littered with them for him.

"He's had a really tough time," said Collins. "He's out with what we think is a small injury.

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"If you look at the history he's had this year it's really tough to see. We hoped he could really make an impact this season and it's still possible but it's not ideal for Josh."

Victory at Fratton park will secure the title for Portsmouth with two games to play but that could actually work in Barnsley's favour. Pompey missed the chance to secure promotion at the weekend.

"You watch the football across the weekend, starting Friday night (when then-Championship leaders Leicester City lost at relegation-threatened Plymouth Argyle) and getting across the line is so difficult," said Collins. "It's so hard to achieve anything in sport.

"We've got to go there for ourselves but consider that fact that it is difficult, make it as difficult as possible for them and see where that puts us.

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"It can become quite frustrating quite quickly but equally their fans are going to be right behind them and they've shown all season long they will get promoted. I just hope it's not on Tuesday night."

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