Mads Andersen feeling inspired as Barnsley look to replicate Great Escape

BARNSLEY stand-in captain Mads Andersen says that Reds' ‘Great Escape’ survival mission in 2019-20 is providing inspiration in their latest quest.

Back in that feted campaign, when the Reds staved off relegation in the final seconds of the season in astonishing fashion, Barnsley beat Middlesbrough and Hull in key wins at the end of February 2020 to start their act of relegation escapology

Two years on and victories over the same two Yorkshire sides has provided hope in the Reds’ latest bid to retain their Championship status.

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Two goals from loanee Amine Bassi, adding to an opener from Andersen, saw Barnsley race into a 3-0 lead over play-off chasing Boro on Saturday.

GREAT ESCAPE? - Barnsley 3-2 Middlesbrough. Picture: PA Wire.

The visitors pulled goals back through Andraz Sporar (penalty) and Dael Fry, but their winless sequence away from home extended to four matches.

After winning just twice in their opening 29 matches, Barnsley have won three of their last four games and are now off the bottom of the table and are six points adrift of fourth-from-bottom Reading, with a game in hand.

Barnsley visit second-from-bottom Derby next weekend and still have to host relegation rivals Peterborough United and Reading.

On a ‘Great Escape’ re-run, Andersen said: “Of course it’s 100 per cent what we are going for. The confidence we have now - and the run we are in - I don’t see why we shouldn’t keep it going.

GREAT ESCAPE? - Barnsley 3-2 Middlesbrough. Picture: PA Wire.

“I do see the similarities. We were in the same situation two seasons ago and now we have the momentum and to keep that going. Be confident and positive.

“What I do know is that in every game, the players are doing everything we can and are fighting. Right now we have some momentum and that’s what we want to keep.

“The other results were good (on Saturday), but we are focused on our results. We cannot affect the other games. We will go to Derby and do everything we can to win the game.”

Boro's attention turns to Tuesday's FA Cup tie with Tottenham, but boss Chris Wilder was in no mood to look forward after Saturday's painful defeat at Oakwell.

Wilder, who was very critical of his side's defending, said: "I have not even had one thought about what happens on Tuesday. I am getting no enjoyment and encouragement about picking up one point from nine (Boro's last three away games)."

On whether he is seeking a response tomorrow night, he added: "They are professional footballers. There are so many things happening in this world, especially at this moment.

"I tell you what, it's a bit of a bind on Tuesday night, playing in front of 33,000 at home to Tottenham in the FA Cup...Terrible that, isn't it."