BARNSLEY manager Keith Hill believes that the appointment of Derek McInnes can only have boosted today’s opponents Bristol City.
McInnes beat off competition from former Barnsley manager Mark Robins to land the job at Ashton Gate and is looking for his first win today at Oakwell.
The Robins, however, are bottom of the Championship table after five defeats in a row and have made their worst start to a season in 78 years.
Hill, whose side are nine points clear of the visitors, expects a reaction but says he has ‘no fear’ after impressive performances in the clubs’s last two home games.
“It’s difficult now that a new manager has taken over,” said Hill.
“We don’t really know what to expect – but I’ll expect some sort of reaction to a new manager and the current position where they find themselves at the bottom of the league.
“In anyone’s honest assessment or opinion, they should be higher up in the table than where they are,” added Hill.
“If you go right through their team there’s massive experience.
“Any team in this league is capable of winning football matches. We’ll accept the pressures of being favourites, there’ll be no fear of the opposition, and there’ll be no fear of playing in front of our own supporters but, again, you’ve got to be very careful with what you do with expectation.
“I think we’ve been absolutely superb in our previous two home games in the way that we’ve manufactured the goals and the way we’ve defended.”
McInnes, who quit Scottish club St Johnstone to move south of the border, opened his reign with a 2-0 defeat last weekend against promotion-chasers Birmingham City.
He also watched Barnsley’s 5-3 defeat at Cardiff City on Saturday but says the Yorkshire club are a different proposition on home soil.
“Barnsley have played better at home than away,” said McInnes. “Even though they let in five goals against a talented Cardiff side, they have shown they can get results.
“They have a talented squad and players who can cause us problems,” he added.
“But we have to make sure we are disciplined and organised and confident enough on the day to pick up all three points.”
The Tykes have won just one of their last 17 away games but have picked up eight points from a possible 12 in their last four home games.
Former Barnsley duo central defender Lewin Nyatanga and winger Jamal Campbell-Ryce are both returning to Oakwell as members of the opposition side.
Barnsley defender Luke Potter, meanwhile, is now on loan at Alfreton Town seeking to regain his fitness after undergoing five knee operations in the last two seasons.