Barnsley’s coaching staff will ‘have a conversation’ about whether to start James Norwood at his former club Exeter City tomorrow as the striker will get a two-match ban if he receives a yellow card.
The 32-year-old, who has been on excellent form over recent months, collected his ninth booking of the season in the 4-2 win over Sheffield Wednesday last Tuesday – for arguing with the officials over a disputed goal kick having been substituted.
Players who collect ten yellow cards up to and including the 37th game – which is Exeter tomorrow night for Barnsley – face a two-game suspension. Norwood began his professional career at Exeter from 2009 to 2011, playing just four league games.
Head coach Michael Duff told the Chronicle: “I won’t need to tell him. He will know. The players aren’t stupid. He will be frustrated because he got booked when he left the pitch.
“He plays with an edge and, if he gets booked, we just have to deal with the consequences. I am sure it will be mentioned but I don’t think he will think too much about it when the game starts.
“We will have to decide whether we take the risk. We will have a conversation about whether he starts or not. But if he doesn’t start there’s a good chance he gets on.
“It’s like Kitch (Liam Kitching), sometimes his strength is his weakness. He picks up too many bookings and the stupid thing is they are needless ones. If it’s a tackle or pressing somebody and not quite getting there on time, that happens. But the verbal ones are needless.”
Barnsley have not played since their derby win last Tuesday, with Ipswich’s planned visit to Oakwell on Saturday called off due to international call-ups despite it being revealed they only had two after thinking they had three.
Duff said: “It’s been a really positive week. We’ve got minutes into people who needed them.
“It’s the calm before the storm. The players got two days off after the last game but were in Friday and Saturday.
“We wanted to play the Ipswich game but, by all accounts, it’s no fault of their own and it’s an international thing. We’ve asked the EFL why, they’ve told us why and we crack on.”
Duff said there were no new injury concerns for the Reds.
Barnsley have been linked with Polish free agent Kacper Lopata. Duff said: "I know about him. But I am focusing on the games we have left and not particularly focusing on the other side of it. I was on a course with the Southend assistant and asked him a couple of questions pre-Christmas. But I don’t know where we are with it or if we are anywhere with it."