WHO TO play in goal has been a tough decision for Michael Duff in Barnsley’s excellent second half of the season.
While Harry Isted is highly likely to play in Monday’s Wembley play-off final after taking over from Brad Collins in February, both of their futures are uncertain.
Isted is on loan from Championship play-off finalists Luton Town with his contract there due to expire this summer. He has impressed in 21 games for the Reds.
The 26-year-old told the Chronicle: “I am up at the end of the season.
“It’s up to the guys behind the scenes here at Barnsley to talk to me.
“We will look at it after Monday. I have loved playing here, I love living up here. I have settled in well and I would like to stay here. But it’s a discussion to have after the final.”
Isted was initially brought in as back-up to Collins, who then suffered a quad injury.
The loanee appreciates head coach Duff keeping faith in him ever since.
“I am definitely grateful. I can’t thank him enough for putting his trust in me. It’s harsh on Brad because he’d been playing all season and playing well. That’s sometimes the unlucky side of football, and the lucky side for me. I got the chance to prove what I can do and I did enough to keep my place.”
Collins is disappointed to have missed out on Barnsley’s promotion run-in, having played more than half the season.
He told the Chronicle: “It’s been really tough but it’s more about the team than individuals at this stage. Harry has been fantastic since he’s come in.
“It’s disappointing not to play but he’s done well. We started the run when I was in the team.
“It’s been great to watch. These are my pals. I want them to do well.
“There’s no hard feelings.
“I am buzzing to go to Wembley.
“I fully understand the manager’s decision. I can’t moan when the boys are winning very week and H is playing so well.”
Collins has one year left on his contract. Will he be a Barnsley player next season? He said: “I am not too sure.
“It’s obviously been a tough end to the year but it’s something we will leave until later in the summer.”
Collins has been at Barnsley for four years and was part of the squad that finished last in the Championship a year ago.
“After what we experienced last year with the disappointment of relegation, it’s going to be a great day out for the boys, the fans and the staff.
“We’re really looking forward to it.
“It will be an unbelievable experience to go to Wembley with Barnsley. I went for a Chelsea game in the FA Cup years ago and I was sat really high up so it will be a different experience.”
Collins, like all the rest of the Barnsley players who have not been starting, knows he has to be ready to play.
“You just have to keep going every day because you never know what’s going to happen. You have to be professional.”
Collins became a father in February.
He said: “That was one of the biggest positives of being injured. I could be there with my girlfriend and spend a few days at home. It’s great and I enjoy being a dad. It puts it into perspective.
“If I have had a bad day then go home to see him – it’s amazing.’