BARNSLEY this afternoon return to Huddersfield Town for the first time since last May’s ‘Survival Saturday’ thriller with their manager Danny Wilson aiming to provide another red-letter day for visiting fans at the John Smith’s Stadium.
While 14th-placed Huddersfield are not fighting relegation fires this time around after going into last season’s final day of the Championship with the Reds in danger of going down along with their visitors, it is a familiar script for Barnsley.
The Reds, who stayed up along with Town at the expense of Peterborough United amid never-to-be-forgotten scenes in West Yorkshire on May 4, are firmly positioned in the drop zone, although they claimed a much-needed morale-boost in last weekend’s home victory over relegation rivals Millwall.
Now the aim is to follow up with back-to-back league wins for the first time in nearly a year, with Wilson also eyeing a landmark in the shape of his first three points on the road in his second spell as Oakwell chief.
Barnsley will be looking to complete a double having beaten Town 2-1 back in August.
Wilson said: “Back-to-back wins would give everyone a massive boost at a team who are doing well.
“If we can get two or three wins together, then I would expect us to be out of the bottom three.
“If we can put them together in the next three or four games, it will give us an outstanding chance.
“I have got great belief we can put a run together.
“I think along the line we can cause one or two upsets.
“We might blow the bookies out of the water with one or two results which one or two don’t expect.”
Wilson, whose side can move out of the drop zone with victory today, provided other results go their way, added: “There has been a lift this week, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that, particularly with it being Millwall who we beat who are around us.
“That helped everyone’s spirits and put an extra step in the players in training.
“So the result has worked wonders for us.
“I know other teams won around us, but I don’t really worry about that, quite honestly, because it’s about how we go into our games.”
While Barnsley travel to Town, another Yorkshire derby sees Sheffield Wednesday welcome Middlesbrough in a re-run of the fixtures on the final day of last season.
The Owls are seeking to avoid a third successive home defeat while Aitor Karanka’s side also have the incentive of aiming to end their club-record goal drought spanning a mammoth 10 and a half hours.
Meanwhile, Doncaster Rovers manager Paul Dickov says his side are ready for a scrap after slipping back into relegation trouble folowing a defeat at rock-bottom Yeovil last weekend.
Dickov, whose side visit Bournemouth today, said: “Last Saturday might not have been a bad thing because it will have made everyone realise what I knew already – that we are in a scrap. We’ve still got a lot to do.
“Sometimes, with a setback like that as players, you need to refocus.
“But I still believe we have more than enough to do it this year.
“We knew what our aims were this year and, at the minute, we are hitting the targets we set.”
Weekend football previews: Pages 2-4.
League tables: Page 4.