Barnsley remain unbeaten on their pre-season adventures but supporters were alarmed to see Head Coach Lee Johnson and Senior Development coach Paul Heckingbottom among the SUBSITUTES for their 1-0 victory at Kilmarnock last night.
With just over two weeks until the 2015-2016 season starts Johnson has an alarming lack of depth, which was on display at Rugby Park.
New signings Ben Pearson, Joe Rothwell, Conor Wilkinson and Marley Watkins started the match, with Alfie Mawson on the bench. But the lack of options available also saw a start for Mike Phenix, who was signed from Telford last October but has made just two substitute appearances for the club.
There were only three recognised players amongst the substitutes in Christian Dibble, Mawson and George Maris, plus third year scholar Matty Templeton.
Johnson is still hopeful of signing three or four more players before the big kick-off but is also without the services of the injured Conor Hourihane and defender Mason Holgate who is weighing up a £1m move to Manchester United and therefore unavailable.
Still it did not stop The Reds recording their third win in four friendly outings following a 1-0 win at Stalybridge Celtic, 0-0 draw at Guiseley and 4-3 win over Mansfield in Bobby Hassell’s testimonial.
The only goal of the game arrived after 54 minutes when on loan Wilkinson scored his first goal for the club, heading home a George Smith cross.
Thankfully there was no need to call on Heckingbottom (who played 20 minutes at Oakwell on Saturday) or Johnson, but the search for fresh blood now surely intensifies.
George Maris (for Rothwell 53)
Alfie Mawson (for Phenix 53)
Matty Templeton (for Smith 80)
Christian Dibble, Lee Johnson, Paul Heckingbottom.