Wilson is putting points ahead of popularity

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WITH Charlton Athletic one of the sides hovering just above the relegation zone, today’s trip to The Valley represents no better time for Barnsley to start improving the Championship’s worst away record.

The Reds have taken just six points from 12 games on the road and sit bottom of the table.

Manager Danny Wilson said: “Charlton are in a very similar position to ourselves. It is like a lot of teams down there that seem to not be able to put three or four wins together to get out of trouble.

“Pressure is on the home team. But we will just relax, go there and play football and see what it brings.

“Just because we are making changes, it doesn’t mean we have players here who can’t cut the mustard. We just need to get the end result right. In key areas at times, we haven’t produced.

“People have opinions and favourites. And when decisions are made, they are not always popular ones. But I make decisions for the benefit of the team. A popularity contest is not what we are aiming to win. We have to stay up with hard points.”

Wilson is likely to hand a debut to new recruit Ryan McLaughlin, the defender who this week moved to Oakwell on loan from Liverpool.

The Reds chief added: “Why did I sign him? He is enthusiastic, quick, a very, very talented footballer for a young age. He has been on the radar for quite a while and I am delighted Liverpool and Brendan (Rogers) have let him come here.”

McLaughlin has joined on an initial 28-day loan but Wilson is hoping to keep him for the season.

Barnsley are still searching for their first win since the manager who took the club into the Premier League returned to Oakwell last month.

Four games in the league have yielded two draws – both on the road – while last week brought a disappointing FA Cup exit at home to League One Coventry City.

Wilson added: “There are some tough decisions to be made. They might not be popular but we have to make them for the good of the club.

“The two areas that are causing us problems, at this moment in time, are scoring goals and conceding them. We have conceded far too many goals and not scored half enough.

“It is not the back four or the odd striker, it is the whole team ethic. It could be the midfield, it could be the wide areas and we are hoping that the full-back area helps us with Ryan coming in.

“It doesn’t stand out in my eyes. Sometimes you need a bit of help for the defence or it might be more strength in front of them.”

Dale Jennings misses the trip to Charlton with a heel injury.