The Tykes have lost five games on the spin with just two wins recorded since the end of September; how would you summarise the season so far?
They brought in a hell of a lot of players during pre-season and it took quite a lot of time for the team to settle. Just before the start of the season they lost 4-0 at Rotherham United. You don’t usually read much into pre-season, but that was very worrying; the squad looked thin and it was an ‘alarm bells’ sort of performance. Based on that I think many Barnsley fans would’ve happily accepted once place above the relegation zone come May. There will be parts of the season where you’ll have a rough spell, but they’ve proved good at stopping the rot and getting wins at places you wouldn’t expect - that’s probably what’s keeping them going at the minute.
The results aren’t rolling in at the moment and, with just two scored in six games, neither are the goals. Why do you think that is?
They lost Josh Scowen to Queens Park Rangers, Marley Watkins went to Norwich City and Mark Roberts got transferred to Birmingham City; if you add that to the fact they lost Conor Hourihane and Sam Winnall in January, it’s been a massive rebuilding job in double-quick time. Tom Bradshaw has had some spells - I think he’s probably equalled his tally for the whole of last season - but behind him there’s not too many others. They’ve brought Ike Ugbo on loan from Chelsea for the season and he has got promise, but he’s very raw and the Championship is a big step up for him. Somehow, they’ve got to find a way to get a few more chipping in.
Which player should Brentford be most wary of?
Even though his form has tailed off a little bit, I’d say Harvey Barnes. He’s got a penchant for a spectacular goal and he’s scored some crackers against Sunderland and QPR, so he’s got that in his locker. He’s got goal-scoring talent and, on his day, can show glimpses of real quality.
What’s your score prediction for the game?
I’m going for a 2-2 draw. The fact it’s an away game might actually suit The Tykes in that it’s away from the public eye in Barnsley. They’ve got goals in the team so I can see them coming back from London with a high-scoring draw.
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