Wycombe Wanderers v Barnsley - Reds planning on keeping it fresh for the run-in

IN analysing Barnsley’s stellar rise into the play-off spots, continuity of selection is something that should not be downplayed.

Five players – Alex Mowatt, Callum Brittain, Cauley Woodrow, Michal Helik and Mads Andersen – have started 30 league matches or more.

Three others in Michael Sollbauer, Conor Chaplin and Callum Styles have been starters in at least 25 Championship games.

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Given the club’s relentless high-energy style under Valerien Ismael and a truncated season, it is another key facet of 2020-21.

Barnsley's head coach Valerien Ismael: Praise for sports science duo. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

While hailing the professionalism of his players not just on the pitch but away from it, Ismael is equally quick to pay tribute to those behind the scenes who are doing their bit to help ensure that Barnsley’s treatment room is being kept clear.

He is desperate for that to stay the same ahead of the forthcoming international break to ensure his squad are fit and fresh for a definitive run-in.

Ismael said: “We have thought all the time about how we can improve between the games.

“We have tried everything and the sports science staff of Johnny (Northeast) and Jordan (Foster) try look all the time to find new solutions for the guys – whether it is more stretches or keeping freshness in their minds.

“The guys know exactly what I demand in terms of intensity and you have to be professional between the games and prepare yourselves to compete again.

“We are in the right way. It is a sensitive situation, but so far, we have made a great job and we have 10 games left – and two before the international break – and our purpose is to keep all the players together without injury.”

On tonight’s game at Wycombe where Barnsley could extend their unbeaten run to 12 league games, he added: “The second half at Bournemouth was ‘us’ and our way and this is how we have to play from the first minute to the last.

“You have to show this (mentality) all the time and not just talking. It has been brilliant so far. But we are not over the line. Finish the job; this is our mentality.”

Last six games: Wycombe WLLLLW; Barnsley WWWWDW.

Referee: D Bond (Lancashire).

Last time: Wycombe 1 Barnsley 0, December 8, 2018; League One.

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