Neill Collins says it was a ‘really tough decision’ to drop Ben Killip on Saturday but he felt he had to play Liam Roberts who he says was the best goalkeeper he League One before injuring his finger in October.

Roberts, the Middlesbrough loanee, excelled for the Reds in the early months of the season but missed more than two months with his injury.

Killip played 11 games in Roberts' absence but was put back on the bench for Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Charlton Athletic.

Head coach Collins told the Chronicle: “It was a really tough decision because Ben, particularly in the last few league games, has performed admirably. But I took it on the basis that Liam was the best goalkeeper in the league prior to getting injured. The opportunity to bring that back was too good to turn down. But credit to Ben he came in and we haven’t taken a backward step with our points total.”

Collins says Roberts’ injury is one of many factors which should be taken into consideration when assessing Barnsley’s season which sees them just outside the play-offs but with a disappointing home record and no wins against a top eight side.

“I understand, when you reflect on each result, how it makes you feel emotional.

“But when you take perspective, Liam Roberts has been out and he was the best goalkeeper in the league up until getting his injury, Kacper Lopata was out with a shoulder injury - two injuries you can’t do much about. Adam Phillips hasn’t reached the heights he’s had but he will get back there, Luca Connell has only started four league games and he will only get better, Sam Cosgrove has improved vastly once his fitness has improved.

“I do think we are a squad that can continue to improve.”