Barnsley boss Poya Asbaghi is hoping for FA Cup relief from relegation struggles

BARNSLEY head coach Poya Asbaghi hopes the less pressurised environment of the FA Cup today will help breathe much-needed life into their wretched Championship campaign.

The Tykes’ only win in their last 13 games came in the last round of the FA Cup and that was only after a dramatic 5-4 extra-time victory over League Two Barrow.

With just two Championship victories all season – they have played 28 games – things are looking dire for Asbaghi’s bottom-placed side who remain competitive but badly lack a killer touch.

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They visit Huddersfield Town in today’s fourth-round tie, opponents who are on an unbeaten 11-game run as they bid to force a return to the Premier League.

Barnsley head coach Poya Asbaghi.  Picture Tony JohnsonBarnsley head coach Poya Asbaghi.  Picture Tony Johnson
Barnsley head coach Poya Asbaghi. Picture Tony Johnson

On paper, it is yet another testing afternoon for Barnsley who are then back in Championship action at Luton Town on Tuesday.

But Asbaghi insisted: “With the Cup, we don’t have to bring the luggage of the Championship with us.

“It’s a game that lives on its own.

“Of course, we have to be aware that we’re in a tough schedule with a lot of games in a short time.

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“We play Luton really close afterwards so we have to have this feeling, of course, of playing some players but still fielding a good team that we know can advance to the next stage.

“Not only do we want to advance but we want to try and use the victory that we can get in the FA Cup – it won’t give us any points in the Championship – but it will hopefully give us the confidence.

“We can bring that into Luton and that confidence will help us win games instead of lose them.”

Asbaghi was pleased with the debuts of new signings Domingos Quina and Amine Bassi in Wednesday’s 1-0 loss at home to Cardiff City.

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After their heavy injury list, he hopes to have more players returning today including potentially Callum Brittain who has been out since that Barrow win on January 8.

“Callum Brittain is, for example, a player who is doing better and better with his rehab” said Asbaghi.

“I hope it won’t be too long before he is back.

“If it is for Saturday, I don’t know.

“We’re in a situation where we hope to get some players back and even more against Luton next week.”

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