Has Barnsley FC’s luck run out? Callum Styles thinks so as they prepare to reunite with Valerien Ismael and Alex Mowatt at West Brom

Barnsley reached the Championship play-offs last season, but as they prepare to reunite with two men who got them there, they are facing up to a far more worrying predicament.

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Barnsley: ‘Someone told me on minute 25 that we would lose this game 2-1’ admits...

The Reds currently sit second bottom, eight points adrift of safety. If it wasn’t for Derby’s 21-point deduction, they’d be bottom.

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Valerien Ismael was the manager who took them to the play-offs last season, Alex Mowatt the captain.

Barnsley's Callum Styles looks dejected (Picture: PA)

Both departed for West Brom in the summer. Both are back this Friday night with West Brom sitting third.

Callum Styles was a key figure last season and can be a key figure again as they look to rescue the current situation.

Following their 2-1 defeat at Preston on Saturday, he tried to pinpoint what has gone so drastically wrong.

“I think we haven’t had the same luck as we had last season,” admitted Styles, after Carlton Morris hit the crossbar and the Reds were denied what they felt was a clear-cut penalty.

Poya Asbaghi, Barnsley FC head coach ( Picture: Bruce Rollinson)

“Little things like that – little decisions – aren’t going our way, like in the last game we could have had a couple of penalties, this game we could have had a penalty, hit the crossbar, had other big chances where we could have scored and it’s just not quite ticking in the right direction.

“But we’re looking to change that in the upcoming fixtures.”

So how do they change their fortune, and what are they doing on the training pitch to address it?

“We’ve worked on attack quite a lot this past two weeks, but we’ve conceded two goals,” said Styles.

“So, it’s good working on attack, but we need to keep doing what we’re doing in the defensive transition that we’ve worked on.

“Obviously, we need to do both sides. It’s all good working on attacking, which we are – we’re creating chances – but we need to keep the back door shut.”