Barnsley happy for outsiders to write off top-two hopes, insists defiant Tonge

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ASSISTANT head coach Dale Tonge admits that Barnsley are happy for doubters to write off their automatic promotion credentials - and that believes it can as serve as motivational fuel for the League One run-in.

The Reds, who suffered a first defeat in 21 matches at Burton last weekend, now find themselves out of the top two after Sunderland drew 1-1 with the same opponents in midweek.

Dale Tonge

Dale Tonge

It has prompted some to suggest that Barnsley have lost significant momentum and done serious damage to their quest to finish in the first two positions, but Tonge insists that the Reds have moved on from last weekend's events at Burton - and are exuding positivity ahead of the final five games of the season.

Tonge, who confirmed that the Reds have no fresh injury concerns ahead of Saturday's home game with Fleetwood, said: "It has been a really positive week and I think a lot of people have made a lot of assumptions about what might be happening with us now, but the players have been excellent in the last few days.

"The attitude in the camp has been really positive and it has been great to see, to be honest.

"With our recent form, we can be honest and say it has not been our best. But at the same time, tte monkey is off our backs now.

"I think if there was ever a time to lose, it was last weekend and from our point of view, it gives us the incentive to create better momentum going into the last group of games.

"It has been a week of reflection and saying: 'look we have not been at our best in terms of results and performances have not been what we would like.' Maybe Burton highlighted those weaknesses.

"We must do better in all areas and defend as one and attack as one."