Barnsley hunt for three points against Foxes

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BARNSLEY fans can be relatively pleased with life under manager Keith Hill this season but the Reds will be keen to bag their first points of 2012 on Saturday when they visit Leicester City (kick-off 3pm).

The Tykes have suffered back-to-back defeats to open the new year, the latest being a 4-2 home loss against Premier League Swansea City at Oakwell which saw them crash out of the FA Cup at the third round stage.

The defeat followed Barnsley’s disappointing 2-0 loss at neighbours Doncaster Rovers last time out in the Championship.

And Hill and his troops will be eager to end their winless start to the year at the King Power Stadium this weekend against a hit-and-miss Foxes side.

City were big spenders and amongst the favourites for promotion this season but things haven’t worked out as planned for the club’s Thai owners.

The Foxes will be expected to spend in the January transfer window but currently have a minor crisis in their defensive ranks - something the Reds will look to exploit.

Sol Bamba has left for international duty with the Ivory Coast in the Africa Cup of Nations and Sean St Ledger is all-set for a departure from the club after reports of a fall-out with boss Nigel Pearson.

The Tykes are set to field some new arrivals against City with striker Chris Dagnall expected to feature for the first time since making his permanent move from Scunthorpe United. Danny Drinkwater has also returned to Oakwell on loan and will feature, with Hill hoping the duo are the first of five new additions this month.

Going the other way is Danny Haynes, who has been transfer listed by the Tykes. Charlton Athletic are reported to have had a bid turned down but London rivals Millwall are understood to be preparing a swoop for the out-of-favour striker.

The Reds have released a statement saying assistant manager David Flitcroft is staying at the club in light of rumours linking him with a return to former club Rochdale as manager.

See this week’s Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express for all the latest sports news from around the area.