Barnett: Sitting out will be agony

Leon Barnett
Leon Barnett

LEON Barnett admits it’ll be agony having to watch Wigan Athletic take on Fleetwood on Saturday from the sidelines.

The big defender will miss the game through suspension, following his late red card in Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Port Vale.

I’d love to be involved but I’ll be there to support the boys, like I always am when I’m not playing

Leon Barnett

With Latics having come back from two goals down and pushing for a late winner, Barnett was left exposed at the back and left with no option but to haul down Enoch Andoh as he raced in on goal.

“I’ll be very disappointed not to be able to play in the game against Fleetwood,” he told the Evening Post.

“I’d love to be involved but I’ll be there to support the boys, like I always am when I’m not playing.

“There’s a great bunch of lads in the dressing room with a great work ethic and I can’t see why we can’t get three points.”

Latics are aiming to return to winning ways, having seen their bid to record three victories on the bounce for the first time in 18 months come a cropper in the Potteries.

“We’re obviously disappointed as a group with Saturday,” Barnett acknowledged.

“We were on a little run, and sadly it’s come to an end.

“But the boys go again on Saturday and hopefully we can get back to winning ways.”

Barnett’s untimely suspension means his mini-goal streak – two goals in two matches – is now on hold.

“It was great to get another goal and help the boys,” he added. “But obviously the big thing was the three points and we’re disappointed our efforts weren’t rewarded.

“There were a lot of mirror images of the Chesterfield game the previous week, but unfortunately it didn’t have the same outcome.”

Barnett’s absence presents a huge selection problem for Gary Caldwell for the visit of the Cod Army.

Skipper Craig Morgan is already out for a month with a shoulder problem he picked up against Crewe last month.

That leaves just Jason Pearce and Donervon Daniels as the only senior centre-backs available to the gaffer.

Either he’ll have to start with the 4-4-2 formation he’s switched to during each of the last two games, or move Chris McCann back from midfield as the third central defender.Forgotten man Grant Holt will continue his recovery from a serious knee injury today with another run-out for the Development Squad at Port Vale (2pm kick-off).