Barnsley have received a huge blow in their hunt for a return to the Championship, with leading scorer Kieffer Moore ruled out until the end of the season.
Moore was hauled off injury a couple of weeks ago against Gillingham and spent a night in hospital. It came after a clash of heads with Gabriel Zakuani, prompting immediate concerns. Those concerns have now been realised as Moore is out for the season on ‘medical advice’.
Whilst it’s a big personal blow to the player, it also threatens the Tykes’ promotion aspirations. They’ve ascended the division and are currently second, but have scored just twice in three matches and drawn a blank in their last two outings.
That last time they failed to score in consecutive league matches was December 2017.
That heaps pressure onto the shoulders of former Fulham man Cauley Woodrow. He joined the Tykes permanently this January after a spell on loan, but suffered his own injury troubles ahead of the season. He missed the opening fixtures and has slowly, but surely come into the first team picture.
Woodrow has ten league goals, 13 in total and he could be feeling very negative this morning. His side’s promotion hopes now rest on his shoulders. He will be the man they turn to for goals and he’ll be the one who is expected to carry the absence of Moore on his back.
However, that might not be a negative for him. His place in the side is now assured, even if Daniel Stendel choose to go with one up top, Woodrow will likely play. Of course he’ll miss his partner and want him back, but there’s a certain security that comes with a key player being injured.
It also gives him a chance to carve a name in his own right. Moore was scoring for fun and seemed to be the main man at Oakwell, despite Woodrow’s 13 goals. Perhaps now, with Moore injured, Woodrow can forge his own reputation.
Much depends on the next few weeks, the promotion hopes of the club and Woodrow’s personal reputation. If he steps up and delivers the goals they need, then perhaps it will be his name engraved on the Player of the Season award after the final day trip to Bristol Rovers.