Stevenage v Barnsley FC: Neill Collins on Reds' extra motivation as League One club visit Broadhall Way - second time around

BARNSLEY will have an extra element of motivation when they finally step out at Broadhall Way on Tuesday evening.

Hitting back at the first available juncture following just their second away league defeat of the season - at Charlton Athletic on Saturday - will obviously be paramount in the thoughts of Neill Collins, his players and staff.

Given an under-whelming return of just two victories in their past seven matches, finding some momentum ahead of what now looks likely to be play-off participation as opposed to a top-two finish is also imperative.

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The Oakwell outfit must also mind the gap between themselves and the team just outside of the top six, who are currently Lincoln City.

Barnsley boss Neill Collins, whose League One side visit Stevenage on Tuesday night. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.Barnsley boss Neill Collins, whose League One side visit Stevenage on Tuesday night. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.
Barnsley boss Neill Collins, whose League One side visit Stevenage on Tuesday night. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

If they need any more inspiration, it will arrive when the Reds look over to the away section on the club’s first ever visit to this Hertfordshire venue.

Strictly speaking, there was a previous trip back in January 20, when the club’s originally scheduled fixture was controversially called off following a second pitch inspection at 1pm - ahead of a 3pm kick-off.

It was deemed that parts of the pitch were unsafe to play on, much to the frustration of Barnsley and their followers - a fair number of whom were already in the town, having made a long trip for nothing in the depths of winter.

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After an episode when away fans were short-changed, those in visiting jerseys are assigned with providing some payback for those present again this evening.

On whether it will give the Reds further incentive, Collins said: "I think it will. For any fans who pay for travel on Tuesday to Stevenage, it will be dear enough.

"We know there were a lot of disappointed fans on that (original) day and I also know that despite the disappointment that day, the biggest motivation factor is to get another three points to keep trying to push and see where we can push in this league table.

"The league is relentless over 46 games and Stevenage will be fighting for their lives to get into the play-offs and it’s another tough challenge, but the players have met these challenges well and we will be ready to do it again on Tuesday. We’ve been looking to go and get three points for ourselves.”

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Individually, players will also not be short in motivation either, including 17-goal striker Devante Cole, whose drought extended to 12 matches on Saturday.

Cole was substituted late on and some of the vibes from the away section were not harmonious towards him.

Collins added: "I have quite often heard the song that they’ve got for Devante and I am quite sure we’ll hear that between now and the end of the season.

"It’s like every player, it’s about supporting them and just getting the best out of them and we’ll try and do that.

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"These things even themselves out and I am sure it will only be a matter of time before he is putting them back in the net. The biggest thing was that he got the chances.

"When they aren’t getting them, it’s a bigger problem.”