BARNSLEY manager Danny Wilson insists the derby pressure will be firmly on the shoulders of his former club Sheffield Wednesday in tomorrow’s Hillsborough showdown.
Wednesday will head into the survival encounter on the back of an impressive nine-match unbeaten streak, but the expectation that brings is compounded by Barnsley looking for just their second victory in 15 attempts at S6 since April 1983.
The sequence includes 11 successive defeats until Jamal Campbell-Ryce’s goal saw the Reds triumph 1-0 at Hillsborough in February 2009.
Wilson’s only previous appointment as the Reds’ boss at Wednesday – whom he played for and managed – ended in a 2-1 defeat in December 1997.
The Oakwell chief is currently awaiting his first away victory in his second spell managing the club.
Wilson, whose second-from-bottom Barnsley side are three places and six points behind the Owls, said: “The pressure is always on the home team. They have got to come out to play and win the game.
“I wouldn’t suggest for one minute that we are favourites by any stretch of the imagination; firmly second-favourites, I’d suspect.
“The pressure to win at home will be just a little bit more because it’s a derby game.”
Wilson has revealed that he plans to make a bid to bring back young Liverpool right-back Ryan McLaughlin in the future after he returned to Anfield for treatment on a torn hamstring sustained towards the end of his 28-day loan spell.
The Reds boss has plugged the gap by bringing in former Huddersfield Town defender Jack Hunt – Barnsley chief executive Ben Mansford used to be his agent – on loan for the rest of the season from Crystal Palace, but has stressed McLaughlin remains in his thoughts.
Wilson, who is hoping to have Jacob Mellis and Marcus Pedersen in contention for tomorrow’s game, said: “I have spoken to Ryan and Brendan (Rodgers) and I think we are all happy for him to come back again if things work out well and he gets over his injury. That’s the major thing.
“We’ll keep that door open for him and hopefully he can get over his injury quicker than we thought.”
The Reds are expected to finalise a deal to sign former Everton and Wednesday goalkeeper Iain Turner for the rest of the season, with the free agent having been training at Oakwell for the past few weeks. He will provide cover for no.1 Luke Steele, with the Reds’ only other option being rookie Christian Dibble.
Wilson, still looking at midfield additions before today’s 11pm deadline, said: “If anything should happen to Luke, it’s a bit much to ask, in the position we are in, for a young lad to take on responsibility on his shoulders. It’s unfair on Christian really.
“If anything does go wrong with Luke – touch wood it doesn’t – then we’ve got a very good replacement in Iain.”
Former Doncaster Rovers midfielder Martin Woods is also training with Barnsley after recently leaving Rovers following a short second stint with the club.