ASSISTANT head coach Dimas Teixeira has told Barnsley’s players to prepare for “five finals” starting with tomorrow’s crunch Roses ‘six-pointer’ with fellow Championship strugglers Bolton Wanderers.
The stakes could not be higher for third-from-bottom Barnsley, who will leapfrog Wanderers, the side just above them, if they prevail at Oakwell.
Seven days later the Reds renew acquaintances with former head coach Paul Heckingbottom in an intriguing looking Yorkshire derby at Leeds United. These next two games are likely to be huge ones in the context of their season.
Trips to East Midlands rivals Nottingham Forest and Derby County and a home game with Brentford complete the club’s schedule, and despite a run of just one win in the past eight matches Dimas is bullish over the club’s survival prospects.
The ex-Juventus and Benfica midfielder said: “Obviously, Bolton are a direct opponent and it is three massive points for a win. I do not have to explain to anyone that it is a very big game.
“Everyone knows the importance of this game. We expect to win, but there is another four games after that. It is not over. We have got five finals ahead of us.
“But I have so much confidence in the team because the performances are there. We have showed that in these last games.
“You have to have sacrifice, team effort, and we have that. We will surely win this game and hopefully be with more points than Bolton after this game.
“If the boys focus and believe in themselves they can get results.”
Alluding to the specific importance of tomorrow’s game, when Barnsley will seek to record a second successive home league win for the first time since the end of August, Dimas said: “For us every game is important, but this one is special as it is against a direct opponent with direct points.
“A win will give us a very positive atmosphere for the next games and we will jump out of the relegation zone.”
Dimas has hailed the positive response from Adam Hammill after his recent return to the fold having been left out in the cold for six games ahead of a recall for the Good Friday game with Bristol City.
The Reds’ assistant boss said: “Adam knows what we expect from him. He is doing what the team needs and the team is in front of everything, so he is doing well for us.”