Stevenage v Barnsley FC: Jordan Williams says it's not just down to Devante Cole for goals as captain adds extra dimension

Devante Cole scored his fourth goal in as many games for Barnsley in midweek but when it comes to matchwinners, captain Jordan Williams insists they are more than just a one-man band.

And although the 24-year-old is yet to weigh in himself this season, his recent move to centre-back has given the Reds a new attacking dimension ahead of the first of two big games against play-off rivals.

Fifth-placed Barnsley's next two games are at seventh-placed Stevenage on Saturday – if the Broadhall Way pitch comes through an 11am inspection – and sixth-placed Oxford United on Tuesday.

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They go into them 10 matches unbeaten – in better shape than Steve Evans' side, who are having a wobble of three defeats in their last five games and only two wins in seven.

Williams does not hold much store by that, but feels too much is being asked of Cole, who scored his 16th goal of 2023-24 in Tuesday's 2-1 win over Carlisle United.

"It's not just about the (starting) strikers getting goals, throughout the team there's goals – in the defence, midfield, the strikers and people coming off the bench to win games. We don't just have to rely on one person to win us the game."

And whilst the centre-backs are not really backing up Williams' assertion – no one has more than one league goal this season – he made Cole's equaliser and got forward to help win midfielder Herbie Kane's decisive penalty in midweek.

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A wing-back by preference, putting him on the right of a back three has given Barnsley the sort of attacking thrust from deep Liam Kitching used to provide from the other side.

NEW ROLE:  Barnsley captain Jordan Williams has been playing at centre-back recentlyNEW ROLE:  Barnsley captain Jordan Williams has been playing at centre-back recently
NEW ROLE: Barnsley captain Jordan Williams has been playing at centre-back recently

"Some aspects of the game I can definitely improve on but it was good to step forward on Tuesday and get an assist," said Williams. "That side of it is good, some of the defensive side I can probably work on.”

The midweek win – more reliant on character than quality – has set the side up well for a big day at Broadhall Way.

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"It's going to be a tough game but one we'll be ready for," said Williams. "We just have to battle.

"It's good to be 10 games unbeaten but it won't matter in the next game because football doesn't owe you anything. You've got to go into the game with a clear mindset."

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