Paddy still has big role to play

Barnsley's Paddy McCourt, pictured in action against Dundalk's Daryl Horgan during a friendly match last month, has featured as an unused substitute for the Reds since December.

Barnsley's Paddy McCourt, pictured in action against Dundalk's Daryl Horgan during a friendly match last month, has featured as an unused substitute for the Reds since December.

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Barnsley manager, Danny Wilson insists Shantallow man, Paddy McCourt still has a major part to play in the club’s fight for Championship survival this season, despite his glaring omission from recent games.

The former Derry City and Celtic winger has made just two appearances under ‘reds’ boss, Wilson with his only start arriving in the home game with Derby County on December 29th last.

That was his last action with McCourt an unused substitute in the club’s last six outings including last Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Ipswich.

Despite his lack of game time, Wilson rates McCourt as “possibly the most gifted player we have.” However, the Barnsley boss admits the club can’t risk playing such an attack-minded player as they attempt to grind out results in the next few weeks.

“Paddy is very much part of the squad,” said Wilson. “I have sat down with him on numerous occasions. He has got undoubted ability and is possibly the most technically gifted player we have.

“But as I have said to Paddy, there’s got to be another side of his game as well.

“At this moment in time, we don’t have the luxury to outpass teams. We are not top of the league and flying with confidence and at times, we are having to grind games out.

“Last Saturday, for example, was a very tough physical game and Paddy, by his own admission, is not that type of player.”

Wilson claimed Paddy must bide his time until the opportunity arises when they need someone to ‘unlock the door’.

“But there will come a time when Paddy will be the one who can unlock a door for us and we have to seek the right moment to put him in,” added Wilson. “Sadly, it’s not arisen over the last few games, which is disappointing sometimes.

“But that’s the way it goes. And from Paddy’s perspective and from having spoken to him, he understands the situation totally.”