Gillingham v Barnsley: Entertainment will be on Reds’ agenda

BEN MANSFORD is backing Lee Johnson to bring the X-factor back to Barnsley.

Lee Johnson takes charge of his first game as Barnsley manager.

Johnson’s odyssey in charge of the Reds will start in front of a loyal band of travelling supporters in Kent today ahead of a home double-header with Coventry and Walsall next week, with Mansford hoping that the attractive style of football which he is espousing will soon permeate through.

Moreso after two difficult seasons, with chief executive Mansford optimistic that Johnson’s fresh approach can help deliver some much-needed vibrancy on the pitch and that his brand of football will entertain fans in the process.

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Mansford said: “There’s a real sense of positivity because Lee is a bright young manager who has worked really hard with a good group of players and improved them at Oldham.

“Hopefully, he can transfer those skills sets and set out the manner in which we will play which will be attacking and have pace and set out to score goals and entertain the Barnsley public because they deserve that.

“We want people to be excited and the football club to be the hub and talked about and be the place where they are excited to go on Saturday or Tuesday night.”

Johnson has been widely credited for improving a host of players at Oldham and re-igniting their careers in the process and Mansford is hoping he can also deliver on that front at Barnsley.

He added: “We want to get the very best we can out of the playing group we have got in this league, but equally we want to go that next one up and if we go up, we want to stay up and progress and be very competitive.

“We will need to punch above our weight at certain times and we feel we have got an individual who can shape players to do that.”