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It’s Moore than just an injury: Barnsley lose key player for promotion push

This Thursday, Barnsley announced that striker Kieffer Moore will miss the rest of the season based on medical advice given to the club.

Moore suffered a concussion in a 4-1 victory against Gillingham on the 9th February after clashing with Gills defender, Gabriel Zakuani. Consequently, the Reds’ striker spent the night in hospital in order to aid his recovery.

Barnsley assistant coach Dale Tonge has said: “The player’s welfare is the first thing that we think about.”

 “We’re following medical advice from the top professionals that we’ve used, and we’ve been given the advice that Kieffer should be out for the rest of the season.”

Losing Moore will be a huge blow for Barnsley who are involved in a battle to retain their automatic promotion spot in League One. The Reds currently sit in second, two points clear of Sunderland who have a game in hand.

Moore has bagged 16 goals in 27 appearances this season, with 5 of them coming in his last 6 games.

As well as the goals, Barnsley will miss Moore’s physical presence at the top end of the pitch. His 6’5” frame provides an easy out-ball when the reds are struggling to break down deep blocks and is also a huge threat at set pieces with playmaker Alex Mowatt consistently providing deliveries for Moore to feast on.

Despite this, Barnsley fans can take encouragement from results whenever they’ve been without Moore this season. In the eight games he’s missed, the Reds have taken 18 points out of a possible 24 at an average of 2.25 per game which is greater than the 1.88 points per game that the Reds have attained when Moore has played.

In Moore’s absence, Barnsley Head Coach Daniel Stendel has opted to play a 4-2-3-1 system with Cauley Woodrow as a lone striker. The system seems to suit Stendel’s high-intensity style much better than the 4-4-2 that is used when Moore is present and Stendel’s fellow German Mike Bahre provides energy and tenacity from the number 10 spot.

Stendel is also not short of options if he wants to return to 4-4-2 with wingers Jacob Brown and Mamadou Thiam both capable of playing centrally. This would provide opportunities for both January signing Jordan Green and Welsh winger Ryan Hedges who’ve both struggled for game time this season due to the impressive form of Brown, Thiam and Brad Potts, who left for Preston in the winter window.

Barnsley will be hoping for another three points when they travel to Southend on Saturday in the first of three games in front of the Sky Sports cameras this month with games at Doncaster and Walsall also being broadcast live to the nation.