Five things we learned from Yorkshire football this weekend

Lee Johnson.

Lee Johnson.

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The end of the international break meant a return to league action for Yorkshire’s Championship sides.

A full schedule meant there was even more to take from the weekend, starting with Middlesbrough’s game against Queens Park Rangers on Friday night.

Here are the five things we learned from Yorkshire football this weekend:

Barnsley are probably in a false position

Ask anyone who was a frequent watcher of Barnsley during their eight wins without a point and they will tell you that they deserved to win many of those games. On Saturday, as Oldham pushed for a winner having been on the back foot for most of the game, it seemed like it was the same old story. However, Barnsley fought back, with Kevin Long scoring the winning goal right at the death. The display prior to Mark Yeates’ equaliser had been good, almost the ideal away performance. They climbed from 23rd to 21st on the back of the victory, and it was hard not to walk away from Boundary Park thinking there is potential in Barnsley to shoot up the league. That is reliant on them following up Saturday in similar fashion going forward, but the performance suggested there is a possibility of them doing so.

Hull have the steel to maintain a promotion push…

One of the accusations levelled at Hull City last season was that they signed poorly for their second season in the Premier League, trying to overshoot what was required from their squad. In part, there was a suggestion that they had brought in players ill-suited to the English game. They have retained the majority of those, and they are working well in the Championship, making it clear that there were other factors behind their relegation. Hull showed a willingness and desire to fight back in a tough away tie against Bristol City on Saturday to earn a draw through Shaun Maloney’s equaliser. That is the sign of a side that can really maintain a push for promotion in the second tier.

...as do Middlesbrough

Queens Park Rangers clearly came to the Riverside with the intention of shutting up shop, in part shown by the complete absence of a striker from their starting 11. It was unsurprising from Neil Warnock and Kevin Blackwell, and meant that Middlesbrough had to come out of their generally slightly more defensive shell. Even so, QPR proved incredibly difficult to break down over the course of the 90 minutes. However, Boro kept going, and showed the mental strength to win the game in stoppage time. There’s a level of psychological fortitude required to get out of the Championship - Aitor Karanka’s team may just possess it.

Neil Redfearn could keep Rotherham up

It has not been an easy start for Neil Redfearn at Rotherham, with only one point from his first six. However, the pressure was never going to be on after only six games, especially with the expectation being that staying up would be a huge achievement for the Millers. The former Leeds United head coach has recruited well given the paucity of options available between windows, shown a willingness to send out players that he clearly does not believe will be in his squad on current form, and pulled off a big victory at Elland Road. He kept Leeds in the division last season in crazy circumstances which simply will not be replicated at the New York Stadium. Given more backing in January, he could pull off safety.

David Wagner should have an impact at Huddersfield Town

The sacking of Chris Powell by Huddersfield came as something of a surprise, not least because results had not been particularly bad under him. However, his perceived negative style and a lack of willingness to blood young players seemingly went against club philosophies, and created a situation by which he needed to be moved on. Bringing in David Wagner may be a risk, but based on Town’s display at Sheffield Wednesday, one of the division’s high-fliers, it could be worthwhile. There was none of the negativity associated with Powell’s team, the full-backs bombing forward and the entire side gegenpressing with the best of them. Yes, Town lost 3-1, but in games where the opposition are on the same level, Wagner’s methods should prove effective.

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