AS Barnsley prepare to enter the FA Cup first round for the first time in nine years, Lewin Nyatanga believes an extended run could do wonders for the club’s promotion push.
The Reds host League Two promotion hopefuls Burton Albion hoping to build on last weekend’s derby victory at Sheffield United.
Beating the Blades was enough to nudge Danny Wilson’s side into the top half of the table for the first time since late August and Nyatanga believes that 1-0 triumph at Bramall Lane can be a springboard for a concerted push for the top six.
Before that, though, the focus turns today to knockout football and the Reds defender believes victory would be a major boost to the club’s ambitions for the season.
He said: “A good Cup run would give us the momentum that we want. It is so important for us to put on a performance and get that result against Burton Albion.
“We need to get a mentality where we are used to winning games. I saw the draw and we were pleased to be at home. But, at the same time, Burton are a good team and we will need to turn up.
“We need to put in the effort and commitment that we showed against Sheffield United. Our ability can then come through and we can get the result we need.
“The Cup is no different in terms of playing the game. It is a competitive match and you have to perform to the best of your ability. I don’t see any difference in preparations or anything like that.”
Wilson has no fresh injury concerns as Barnsley look to take a step towards the third round stage, where they entered the competition for the past eight years as a Championship club.
The Brewers, who lost manager Gary Rowett to Birmingham City recently, will be led by caretaker chief and former Leeds United defender Mike Whitlow, but Wilson is not anticipating that making any difference to the League Two promotion chasers.
He said: “It won’t affect them. They will just get on with it, they are a resilient bunch. I have got no worries that it is going to affect their performance, that they haven’t got a manager in who is a full-time one.
“They can use it as an excuse afterwards, hopefully, if we get through. But, overall, they are a good team with some good players and I expect them to be playing to their maximum when they play against us.”
Last six games: Barnsley WDLLDW, Burton Albion LWLWLD.
Referee: D Webb (County Durham).
Last time: Never met.