WITH back-to-back games this week against two of the five sides below them in the table, Barnsley manager Paul Heckingbottom wants his side to head into the international break on a high.
Tonight’s trip to Burton Albion is followed by a home encounter with Birmingham City, after which there will be a fortnight’s gap between fixtures.
The battling display that brought a point from the weekend trip to Sheffield Wednesday means the Reds will head to the Pirelli Stadium in buoyant mood.
“I hope so,” said Heckingbottom when asked if the draw at Hillsborough can prove a springboard to taking points off two fellow strugglers this week.
“Everyone has been watching us and performances have been there. Wednesday was arguably one of our worst for a while, yet we managed to get a point away at a good side.
“The pleasing thing is that, so far this season, we have had to be at our best to win and really dominate a game to win. On Saturday, we weren’t, but could still have won it.
We are learning about the players all of the time and that has been one of the enjoyable, if hard, things at times. We are finding out things about the players daily.Barnsley boss, Paul Heckingbottom
“We are learning about the players all of the time and that has been one of the enjoyable, if hard, things at times. We are finding out things about the players daily. I would love to know them inside out, but I don’t. But we are enjoying working hard together and will, hopefully, get better.”
Back-to-back away games inside four days can be a big task but, with last Saturday involving just a short trip across South Yorkshire, Heckingbottom says the relative lack of travelling time can help his side ahead of taking on the Brewers.
“We know it is a big week because we have two games after a gruelling Saturday,” he added. “The good thing is we have bodies fit and options if we want to make changes.
“It does also help (that there is not too much travelling) in this condensed fixture list. In the past, we had some long journeys when facing seven games in three weeks.”
Adam Jackson is expected to be out until early next year after suffering a serious knee injury in the recent defeat at home to Hull City.
“Worst case, we thought the season was over, so we have to be grateful for that (update),” added Heckingbottom.
Last six games: Burton Albion DLLDLL Barnsley LDWDLD.
Referee: J Simpson (Lancashire).
Last time: Burton Albion 0 Barnsley 0; November 5, 2016; Championship.