A CLUTCH of relatively unproven Barnsley newcomers may be thrown into the derby furnace today but Danny Wilson admits that the youthful Reds fancy their chances at the Keepmoat Stadium.
Josh Scowen, who arrived from Wycombe Wanderers on Thursday night, could be handed a debut for the Reds, while fellow recent signings Milan Lalkovic, Alex Kiwomya, George Waring and Ben Pearson are also keen to sample their first taste of derby fare with the club.
Derbies have certainly served the Reds well this term, with sweet victories arriving against White Rose rivals Sheffield United and Bradford City and Wilson says his side make the 15-mile trip east in positive mode.
Manager Wilson, who has already brought in five players during this transfer window, with more to potentially come in, said: “A lot of them seem like they have been here a long time.
“That is the type of group we have got – they are very accommodating and very open and have embraced anyone that has come in.”
On Rovers, he added: “They are a very good footballing side. They have got some good individuals and, going forward, they are very, very good.
“But we fancy ourselves, we played well against them earlier in the season.
“Taking that into account and what we have got now as a squad, with one or two additions we have added over the past week, we are hoping we can cause them some problems as well.”
Rovers head into today’s game on the back of just one defeat in their past eight league matches and seeking to put wind in their sails in terms of a play-off push with maximum points in back-to-back home games with Barnsley and Notts County.
Much room for improvement remains in terms of Rovers’ home form, but manager Paul Dickov, enthused by their last two Keepmoat performances, detects things are getting better.
He added: “Barnsley have a lot of young players and with that brings a lot of energy and enthusiasm and they are picking up points and we have got to be wary of them.
“But we want to make sure we carry on from the Bristol City and Coventry performances at home, which were really good. We want that to continue.
“We have had some good performances at home without the right results. But in the last two performances, we have been on the front foot and really put pressure on the opposition and been relentless.”