Lewin Nyatanga is confident Barnsley can cope without star striker Sam Winnall – for the time being at least.
Winnall is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury – and it’s perhaps no coincidence that the Reds have truggled somewhat in their last couple of games.
As yet Reds’ boss Danny Wilson doesn’t know how long he will be without Winnall, who has nine goals already this season.
But Wilson has plenty of fit strikers to choose from with Devante Cole, the Manchester City loan marksman, continuing to start up front and Marcello Trotta, Leroy Lita and Kane Hemmings all fighting amongst themselves for regular starting roles.
Trotta, the Fulham loan hitman, started with Lita and Cole in Tuesday night’s 1-1 home draw with Doncaster Rovers at Oakwell.
However, former Cowdenbeath striker Hemmings will be pushing hard for a starting role on Sunday as the Reds hosts Conference side Chester City in the FA Cup second round.
“Sam’s been in great form, so he’s a big loss,” admitted Nyantaga, who scored his first goal in over a year and a half in midweek.
“Everything he hit was going in, so you’re always going to miss someone in that type of form. But we’ve got so many good strikers that luckily we’ve other players to choose from.”
Consistency has been Barnsley’s main problem this season and, following a four-game unbeaten run, Wilson’s side have picked up just one point from their last three outings.
And centre-back Nyatanga believes the problem could be inexperience amongst the ranks.
“With a young team you maybe find that the consistency it not always there,” said Nyatanga. “And we’ve got a young team. But you can also see that all the young players have so much talent.
“As a team we’re working really hard and, in my opinion, everything will just fall into place.
“Sometimes we’ve played well and then we’ve been hit on the counter-attack.
“It’s definitely not a pressure thing at home because all the players enjoy playing at home and the atmosphere. Our fans are so good, they get behind us.”
Club captain Martin Cranie is expected to return to the side on Sunday having returned from a one-match ban for five yellow cards.
Midfielder Conor Hourihane – the Reds’ leading scorer this term with 11 goals – is one yellow card away from a one-match suspension.
“The focus now is to go and win on Sunday,” stressed Nyatanga. “It’s going to be a hard game. It’s a massive game for them and they’re going to put up a good fight.”