The numbers which explain Barnsley FC's strong League One mentality - and why Neill Collins has been so pleased

A STRONG sign of a side who possess what it takes to last the promotion course is their bouncebackability.

In that regard, Barnsley - among many other commendable facets in 2023-24 - appear to be well blessed.

The fourth-placed Reds, who visit Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday, have taken 19 points from losing positions so far this season.Only Portsmouth (21) have taken more and it should come as no coincidence that the south coast club are currently leading the way at the summit.

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In many respects, those sort of enviable statistics point more towards mentality than ability and at the business end of the season, it is perhaps the most important quality to have in your locker.

Barnsley FC boss Neill Collins, whose side visit Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.Barnsley FC boss Neill Collins, whose side visit Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.
Barnsley FC boss Neill Collins, whose side visit Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

Another telling barometer of the character within the Barnsley’s ranks is ability to go late, sometimes very late in cases.

A modest eighth in the first-half table, Neill Collins’ side are second in the second-half ‘version’ - with only Pompey above them once again.The Reds’ second-half goal total of 35 is the second-best record in the division, while no side has managed more goals than their total of 16 in the last 15 minutes of league matches.

It has yielded some feted late wins against the likes of Leyton Orient, Carlisle and weekend opponents Wycombe, beaten 1-0 in the reverse fixture at Oakwell.

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On their travels, Barnsley’s consistency has also been admirable, with their sole defeat thus far arriving at Derby on November 11.

Collins, whose side have lost just once in their last 17 league games, said: “The players take so much credit.

"They have impressed me with their recognition of going away from home and what is required and what the mentality needs to be.

"Part of that has to be worked on as a collective. We are fortunate that we have got a lot of players that have that mentality - I could name a lot.

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"You then look at Devante (Cole) on Saturday who was chasing back and closing down. You’ve got Herbie (Kane) who is a winner and knows what it takes and Luca Connell. Mael (De Gevigney), although he’s young - is up for every battle.

"What people forget is that you have to go through certain experiences, good and bad. It’s how you learn from it as a group. That’s what they’ve done well.

"I also think coming from behind is a tactical thing as well at times. How can we adjust and adapt and that’s where the players have done really well, as well.

"The players have worked on that mentality as a group.”

Top-scorer Cole and midfielder Jon Russell have been selected in Jamaica’s provisional squad for their CONCACAF Nations League semi-final.

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The Reggae boys are due to face USA in Texas on March 21 before playing either in the final or third-place play-off three days later.

Barnsley are due to visit Portsmouth on March 23. They could postpone the match if they have three international call-ups, although Portugal U19 forward Fabio Jalo is currently injured.