Barnsley FC boss Neill Collins on whether he is worried by drop-off in results after latest League One setback at Stevenage

BARNSLEY head coach Neill Collins remains confident that it will not take much to turn around the Reds’ recent drop-off in results as their stuttering finish to the regular season continued in a 2-1 League One reverse at Stevenage.

On their first ever game at the Hertfordshire venue, the Reds came unstuck as they suffered back-to-back losses on the road for the first time this term.

You also have to go back to mid-August for the previous occasion that they lost two successive league matches.

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With their top-two hopes having evaporated in recent weeks, the Oakwell outfit, who lie fifth, are now assigned with playing themselves back into the form ahead of likely play-off participation.

Barnsley manager Neill Collins. Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images.Barnsley manager Neill Collins. Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images.
Barnsley manager Neill Collins. Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images.

Barnsley, who have won just twice in their past eight matches, are six points clear of the side currently just outside of the top six in Lincoln City, with four games to go in the regular campaign.

On whether he is worried about his side’s poor recent numbers, Collins, whose side welcome Reading on Saturday, said: “I am just concerned about winning the next game.

"It’s the first time we have lost back to back games, after (since) the third or fourth game of the season.

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"Generally, the players have been very resilient. We knew coming here is usually very tough and they make it a kind of ‘50-50’ game.

"We just need to concentrate on getting these small margins back in our favour, because I think that is all it is.

"People might make more than it is and we’re disappointed with some of the recent results. But I don’t think it will take a lot to turn it around.”

Adam Phillips hit a lofted shot to put the visitors ahead with his second goal in consecutive games and ninth of the campaign, but Jamie Reid levelled as the break approached and Dan Butler secured victory with a powerful free-kick to boost Stevenage’s own outside hopes of play-off participation.

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Collins added: "I think for 20 minutes of the second half, Stevenage were well on top and really put us on cosh and we couldn’t get out.

"It came from set-piece after set-piece and we know that’s what they are good at and it wasn’t anything necessarily from a tactical perspective - it was just the fact they have big, strong bodies and it’s about trying to get the ball out and deal with duel after duel.

"I thought in the first half, we really carved them open at times and should have been ahead by more. To go in level at the break was a bit of a blow, as I think for the last 30 minutes of the half, we looked like we were the team to add (more goals) after a couple of early scares.

"But we just lacked that finishing touch.”

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