Barnsley braced for a battle royale in Wales

Barnsley head coach Paul Heckingbottom
Barnsley head coach Paul Heckingbottom

Coach Paul Heckingbottom knows Barnsley will have to be ready for a physical test at Cardiff City.

The Reds set off early yesterday to beat the Christmas rush. And Heckingbottom is adamant his side will have to defend for their lives at times.

“They’re a big physical side and they like to put the ball in your box,” said Heckingbottom. “We have to be ready for it. They’re a very combative team and they cause everybody they play against problems so we know it’s going to be tough.

“Around 75% of their goals have been scored from set plays. They’ve got the long throw as well so we know we’ll have to defend at times.”

Aidy White and Adam Jackson are both back in contention after overcoming injury niggles, whilst Marley Watkins could also feature after his suspension.

Striker Adam Armstrong has still not trained since picking up a freakish foot problem, with a scan ruling out a serious injury and Saidy Janko will also be missing after tweaking him hamstring in training on Thursday.

Neil Warnock took over the reigns in Cardiff in October.

Warnock has revitalised the squad and since his appointment they have clinched 15 points in ten games after a dismal run of six defeats in seven before - which led to Paul Trollope’s departure.

Heckingbottom said: “Every game Cardiff have played since Neil’s took over, they’ve been competitive in. Not just in terms of scoreline and the results they pick up but with how they play.”