CAULEY Woodrow is confident that his profitable partnership with Kieffer Moore will continue to reap its rewards for Barnsley as they head into a pivotal final third of the season.
Woodrow and Moore have played an integral role in the Reds’ rise to third place in League One, notching a combined 25 goals this season, and both were on target during last weekend’s comeback victory over Rochdale.
The former will be hoping to find the net for the third consecutive game tonight when the Oakwell outfit look to continue their promotion charge at Oxford United. Victory for the Reds would see them move into the second automatic promotion place if Portsmouth fail to beat leaders Luton Town.
Ahead of tonight’s game Woodrow praised team-mate Moore, but stated the importance of the rest of the squad registering on the scoresheet to lighten the load. He said: “I really enjoy playing with Kieffer. He has different attributes to me.
“I think we work well off each other and we are both scoring. So if we keep doing that then we will keep picking up the points.
“But it is important too that the other lads are chipping in with the goals because there will be times when me and Kieffer will not score.
“When that happens it is important the other lads can nick goals. We always say that we have a lot of quality in the changing room, in all positions. Players like Mamadou (Thiam) and Cameron (McGeehan) will get you goals. Jacob Brown has scored a few recently too.”
Woodrow has insisted that the departure of former assistant Andreas Winkler did not hit the squad too hard.
Winkler joined Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Town on the eve of the Rochdale clash, renewing acquaintances with Terriers’ head coach Jan Siewert, with whom he used to work at German outfit Rot-Weiss Essen.
Youth coach and former Reds’ star Dale Tonge has stepped up to assist boss Daniel Stendel and Woodrow praised the impact of the stand-in No 2.
“A few of us know Dale and have seen him around the place before, obviously,” added Woodrow.
“He has been really good and I am sure he will fit in fine with everyone. It is always good to have a coach that has been an ex-player.
“He has been promoted before so I am sure he can take those experiences and hopefully help us get promoted as well.”
Achieving a top-two finish is within Barnsley’s remit according to head coach Stendel, whose confidence will be bolstered should the Reds’ core squad remain intact by Thursday’s closure of the transfer window.
Stendel confirmed that he has received assurances that – unless the club are offered “stupid” money – there will not be any more major departures following the sale of two midfielders in Brad Potts and George Moncur.Stendel said: “I have been told no. I think all the players stay here and we have a big goal.
“I do not know what will happen in the next three days when an offer comes in for ten million...I don’t know. But I think we will go in the last 19 games with the same squad.
“The last weeks have shown we have a good squad and enough quality. We have played against all teams at the top of the table and I think the ability and confidence is enough.
“Although sometimes you need a little bit of luck and then we have the chance to achieve our goal.”
Stendel has revealed that one or two fringe players such as Jared Bird will be allowed to head out on loan to get some game time, while adding that he is not expecting much inward activity.
He said: “Jared Bird has not played so much this season so we hope he can find a club to go out on loan and that he can play more in competition games. It is important for him.
“Some players have played not so much this season and we have spoke with those who do not have so many chances to play and we will see.”
On the prospect of new signings, he continued: “I have not heard (about) one offer and we have not the idea to sign a new player. But with three days we will see.
The Reds report no fresh injury issues ahead of the trip south to an Oxford side who they dismantled 4-0 on the opening day of the season. Mike Bahre is back in the squad, but while Zeki Fryers and Lloyd Isgrove are also fit they may not be involved this evening as they are lacking match sharpness.
Stendel, whose side are unbeaten in their past eight league matches, a sequence that has incorporated six wins, added: “We are looking forward to this game and have a great chance to take three points.
“It is a difficult task against a side who beat Portsmouth in their last home game, but I think we have had good preparation for this game.”
Last six games: LLDDWL Barnsley WDLWWW.
Referee: K Johnson (Somerset).
Last time: Oxford United 1 Barnsley 0; January 30, 1999; Division One.