Mellis returns home on mission with Reds

Jacob Mellis
Jacob Mellis
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Barnsley return to the scene of one of their “great escapes” of last season when they travel to Nottingham Forest today.

The Reds, under the guidance of manager David Flitcroft, went on a four-game unbeaten run at the end of last season to secure their Championship safety.

They beat Premier League-bound Hull City, held Derby County 1-1 at Oakwell, and ground out draws at Forest and then Huddersfield Town on the final day of the season.

That saw Barnsley pip Peterborough by a single point, 55 to 54, and with a worse goal difference it could be argued that the point at Forest was vital in staying up.

With Billy Davies’s side missing out on the play-offs by a solitary point come the final day of last term, the draw also had a major impact on the hosts.

The two teams meet today at the City Ground, with the table offering an almost identical shape to last season – Forest sitting pretty in fourth while Barnsley are down in 20th.

Tykes midfielder Jacob Mellis accepts today will be just as tough a trip as last season as he returns to his home-town club.

“They started off the season good,” said 22-year-old Mellis. “Billy Davies has got them playing some good stuff so it’s a tough task.

“We ground out a result there last season which, in the end, helped towards us staying up.”

Mellis knows he and his fellow Reds midfielders hold the key to stifling Forest inventiveness.

The former Sheffield United youngster said: “I saw them on television against Watford. They’ve got Andy Reid, who is quality, and you’ve got to look out for him because he’s such a very good player.

“They’ve got quality all over the pitch and throughout the whole squad. They’re probably at least going to be in and around the play-offs.

“Their midfield is strong and they all move the ball well at a high tempo. We have to cancel out their threats from that area.

“We are going to go there and attack them. We’re not just going to sit back.

“Anyone can take points off anyone else in this league. We’re no different so we’re going to go there and try and win the game,” added Mellis, an ever-present for Barnsley this season.