Barnsley go to Nottingham Forest tonight ‘to fight, not to cry’ despite being severely depleted and bottom of the Championship.

The Reds could be without head coach Poya Asbaghi who has been ill, with a decision to be taken today on whether he can be in the dugout for the 7.45pm kick-off.

If not, the team will be led by his assistant Ferran Sibila who revealed yesterday that Barnsley wanted to get the match called off due to having fewer than 13 players available.

But the request was rejected by the EFL, with the vast majority of absentees due to injury rather than Covid-19.

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Liam Kitching is out following concussion sustained in the 2-1 loss at Birmingham on Saturday while Callum Styles is a doubt after a knock in the same game, and there are thought to be question marks over several others.

Sibila said none of Callum Brittain, Josh Benson and Clarke Oduor will return from their injuries. Remy Vita has also been out.

Barnsley are bottom of the Championship, eight points off safety. Tonight’s match is a game in hand so they could cut the gap to safety to five points, with 20 games left.

Forest are eighth, four points off the play-off places with this game in hand.

They dumped Arsenal out of the FA Cup earlier this month, then won 1-0 in injury-time at Millwall and beat local rivals Derby County 2-1 on Saturday.

Sibila said: “It’s time for them to lose They won against Arsenal but Barnsley can win against Nottingham - that is football. We don’t go there to cry, we go there to fight and make every sacrifice that is needed.

“Nottingham is a team that tries to control the game with the ball. They want to push teams down and create a lot of chances.

“They have skilful players to do that. They will want to solve our press. We will be ready for that and we have our weapons against them.”

The Reds have the fewest points, wins and goals in the EFL this season.

They are the only team in the EFL not to win away, with their 13 games on the road bringing four draws and nine defeats - including eight losses in the last nine.

It is the longest wait for a first away win of the season since 1975/76, and the longest winless away run since 16 games in 2007/08.

Asbaghi has not won any of his first seven league games as Barnsley boss - the joint longest wait for a first victory since Tim Ward in 1953.

Forest’s chief executive is Dane Murphy, who had the same role at Oakwell for two years before leaving, along with secretary Taymour Roushdi, in the summer after his contract expired.

Murphy sacked veteran manager Chris Hughton after he collected just a point from the opening seven games of the season.

Caretaker Steven Reid won his only game then Steve Cooper was appointed in late September.

The Welsh coach had lost only one of his 15 games, winning eight, before back-to-back December losses. But they have won all three games this year.

Cooper has never lost in seven meetings with the Reds, four wins and three draws, while his Swansea side knocked them out of the play-offs in May.

He has not managed against any club more than Barnsley. He had only been at Forest for a week when they won 3-1 at Oakwell in September, trailing after an hour to Cauley Woodrow’s penalty before scoring three in 20 second half minutes.

That was Forest’s only win in the last five meetings with the Reds in 2020 and 2021. Overall, they have 32 wins compared to Barnsley’s 33 in 78 contests.

Barnsley have a poor record at the City Ground, with only two wins in 19 attempts since 1948 with six draws and 11 losses.

They won 1-0 five years ago this month thanks to Conor Hourihane’s stunning late long-range strike and 2-0 in 2006 thanks to Marc Richards’ early brace.

CHRON

FERRAN

Barnsley go to Nottingham Forest tonight ‘to fight, not to cry’ despite being severely depleted and bottom of the Championship.

The Reds could be without head coach Poya Asbaghi who has been ill, with a decision to be taken today on whether he can be in the dugout for the 7.45pm kick-off.

If not, the team will be led by his assistant Ferran Sibila who revealed yesterday that Barnsley wanted to get the match called off due to having fewer than 13 players available.

But the request was rejected by the EFL, with the vast majority of absentees due to injury rather than Covid-19.

Liam Kitching is out following concussion sustained in the 2-1 loss at Birmingham on Saturday while Callum Styles is a doubt after a knock in the same game, and there are thought to be question marks over several others.

Sibila said none of Callum Brittain, Josh Benson and Clarke Oduor will return from their injuries. Remy Vita has also been out.

Barnsley are bottom of the Championship, eight points off safety. Tonight’s match is a game in hand so they could cut the gap to safety to five points, with 20 games left.

Forest are eighth, four points off the play-off places with this game in hand.

They dumped Arsenal out of the FA Cup earlier this month, then won 1-0 in injury-time at Millwall and beat local rivals Derby County 2-1 on Saturday.

Sibila said: “It’s time for them to lose They won against Arsenal but Barnsley can win against Nottingham - that is football. We don’t go there to cry, we go there to fight and make every sacrifice that is needed.

“Nottingham is a team that tries to control the game with the ball. They want to push teams down and create a lot of chances.

“They have skilful players to do that. They will want to solve our press. We will be ready for that and we have our weapons against them.”

The Reds have the fewest points, wins and goals in the EFL this season.

They are the only team in the EFL not to win away, with their 13 games on the road bringing four draws and nine defeats - including eight losses in the last nine.

It is the longest wait for a first away win of the season since 1975/76, and the longest winless away run since 16 games in 2007/08.

Asbaghi has not won any of his first seven league games as Barnsley boss - the joint longest wait for a first victory since Tim Ward in 1953.

Forest’s chief executive is Dane Murphy, who had the same role at Oakwell for two years before leaving, along with secretary Taymour Roushdi, in the summer after his contract expired.

Murphy sacked veteran manager Chris Hughton after he collected just a point from the opening seven games of the season.

Caretaker Steven Reid won his only game then Steve Cooper was appointed in late September.

The Welsh coach had lost only one of his 15 games, winning eight, before back-to-back December losses. But they have won all three games this year.

Cooper has never lost in seven meetings with the Reds, four wins and three draws, while his Swansea side knocked them out of the play-offs in May.

He has not managed against any club more than Barnsley. He had only been at Forest for a week when they won 3-1 at Oakwell in September, trailing after an hour to Cauley Woodrow’s penalty before scoring three in 20 second half minutes.

That was Forest’s only win in the last five meetings with the Reds in 2020 and 2021. Overall, they have 32 wins compared to Barnsley’s 33 in 78 contests.

Barnsley have a poor record at the City Ground, with only two wins in 19 attempts since 1948 with six draws and 11 losses.

They won 1-0 five years ago this month thanks to Conor Hourihane’s stunning late long-range strike and 2-0 in 2006 thanks to Marc Richards’ early brace.