Birmingham City v Barnsley: Strong characters will get Reds out of the rut

Battling for the cause: Barnsleys Josh Scowen, blocked by Wigans Shaun MacDonald, remains confident.
Battling for the cause: Barnsleys Josh Scowen, blocked by Wigans Shaun MacDonald, remains confident.
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If Barnsley need any inspiration on how they can turn around their faltering season they do not have to look far into their history books.

Since thrashing Wolverhampton 4-0 at Molineux in September, Barnsley have won just one in 11 to slide down to 18th spot and sit just four points above second-from-bottom Cardiff City.

Most sides would be in a state of panic, but manager Paul Heckingbottom’s side know from recent experiences how things can quickly change.

Twelve months ago, Barnsley were bottom of League One and looking certainties to drop down to the fourth tier of English football.

But an astonishing run saw them shoot up the table and ultimately clinch promotion via the play-offs.

It is why, ahead of today’s trip to Birmingham City, there is a mood of optimism still hanging over Oakwell.

“We can easily turn this around,” said Reds midfielder Josh Scowen. “Look at last season. I’m not saying we’re going to get promoted to the Premier League or anything, but then we’re not exactly stuck at the bottom this time, are we?

“The performances have been good for the majority of the season, but results aren’t falling.

“We’re looking forward as a group to going down to Birmingham on Saturday and getting a positive result.

“The boys are always positive, there’s no heads down or anything.

“You’ve only to look at last season and how we dug deep, it’s how we got here now.

“But there’s strong characters in the changing room and we’re more than good enough to get ourselves out of this little run.”

The 23-year-old former Wycombe midfielder added: “The last year has been a real rollercoaster.

“I’ve enjoyed it. I’ve realised that at this level though you have more time on the ball.

“In League One, everything often got scrappy, it was really fast and frenzied.

“But we’re all young and learning and if we all stay together we can turn this form around,” he added.

The fixtures have not been too kind to Barnsley this month, as they face fourth-placed Birmingham home and away in December.

They also host eighth-placed Norwich City and Blackburn Rovers, and must travel to South Yorkshire neighbours Sheffield Wednesday, who sit just outside the play-off spots, and fellow strugglers Cardiff.