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4 February 2021

Ahead of our Sky Bet Championship clash with Derby County this weekend, Valérien Ismaël delivered an injury update in his pre-match press conference.

Our Head Coach says that the Reds could be without two players when the Rams visit Oakwell, but insists that the injuries are not too serious.

“We have some issues with Romal Palmer and Toby Sibbick but it’s normal,” asserted Ismaël. “Both guys haven’t played for a long time after injury and now they came back and played two or three games in a row.

“They’re small injuries, nothing big, but we will see if it will be enough for the game on Saturday or if we have to wait for the next game. But, for sure, we don’t want to take any risks because we have a busy schedule in February and we will need all the players.”

One player who could be in contention to make his Barnsley debut is new arrival Daryl Dike, who joined on loan until the end of the season from MLS outfit Orlando City.

After spending the morning out on the training ground, Ismaël was impressed with the American international’s attributes and is eager to see him in competitive action.

“I think that the physicality, speed, agility and technique – everything is there – and now we need to see him on the pitch in the game,” continued the Reds’ Head Coach. “Now it’s my job to integrate him, to develop him and to give him the chance to make the next step.

“I have to say thank you to the board to get us the possibility to have such a player, such a quality. I think we have two things to note in this window; we kept all our regular starters and we added some more quality, and this is the big thing.

“Now we can focus with a big confidence for the rest of the season, but we have more possibilities, we’re more adaptable and have more quality in the squad.”

Turning his attentions to the upcoming visit of Derby on Saturday, Ismaël is anticipating another difficult encounter in South Yorkshire.

The Rams have climbed out of the relegation zone in recent weeks and, under their new manager, have proven they can be tricky to break down with three clean sheets in their last four outings.

“It’s another tough game and another big name in the league with now a legend as manager, Wayne Rooney,” said Ismaël. “He’s got some great results – they lost yesterday against Rotherham, but before it was stable.

“We know it will be a tough game where we have to be clinical, but we are confident and we are looking forward to the game. We have had one week to prepare and I think the guys are really fresh now. Now we want to go in this game with the purpose to get the points because it’s all about getting the result now for us.”

You can watch Valérien’s press conference on iFollow Barnsley.

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