Swansea City v Barnsley – Only one present will do for Reds birthday boy Tony Sibbick

Wembley aim: Barnsley's Toby Sibbick, up against Swansea City's Liam Cullen.Wembley aim: Barnsley's Toby Sibbick, up against Swansea City's Liam Cullen.
Wembley aim: Barnsley's Toby Sibbick, up against Swansea City's Liam Cullen.
NO prizes for guessing what present Toby Sibbick craves more than any other on his birthday weekend.

The Barnsley defender, who turns 22 tomorrow, is naturally hoping for an early gift in the Principality this evening by way of the Reds securing a passage to Wembley.

It would ensure a Sunday to savour for the London-born player, born not too far away from the home of football in Isleworth and raised in Feltham.

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Sibbick said: “I have already said to a few people that Saturday will determine my mood on my birthday. Hopefully, we will get the result on Saturday and it would be incredible to get to Wembley and see where we have come from last season.

“No-one would have thought we would be where we are in the table and, at the end of the day, the league table does not lie and we deserve to be here.”

A super goal from Swansea City forward Andre Ayew six minutes before the interval means that the Reds have it all to do to turn around a first-leg deficit at Oakwell.

But despite the defeat, there is still plenty of faith and belief prevalent among Valerien Ismael’s squad, who were entitled to be enthused by their assertive second-half performance against the Swans, where the only thing lacking was a goal.

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He added: “We normally create a lot of chances, but we had a few counter-attacks to put things right and get a goal. But I think the final pass let us down a few times.

“But there are plenty of positives to take from the game. It was obviously a moment of brilliance from Ayew to get that goal and that was the only real chance that they had.

“On Saturday, we are looking to start the first half how we ended the second.”

Minus one brief moment in the second half, Sibbick handled Swans danger man Jamal Lowe – who scored goals in the Welsh club’s two league victories over Barnsley in the regular season – pretty well and kept him relatively quiet.

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It is something that the pacy former AFC Wimbledon player, who has been brought in from the cold this year by Ismael, will need to replicate in South Wales this evening against a Swans side who start the definitive second leg in a commanding position.

“There was one time when he twisted me inside out and he got me once,” Sibbick observed.

“It is weird, that is what people seem to remember! I think we had a good battle and, obviously, it will be another battle on Saturday and, hopefully, we can come out on top and get the result as well.”

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