A few years back, Barnsley at home was my most favourite of fixtures. It was our once-a-season guaranteed victory, in the same way that every other club in the league thought they were going to give us a right good hiding.
Journey forward a few years, and all has changed. Barnsley are now pretty decent and like to win games (a lot more than we do, that’s for certain).
How are they getting on?
You’d think that 14th in the league is relatively good, although Keith Hill is an ambitious so-n-so, and certainly fancies that they could go higher. He’s hinted at what he really wants in some recent words, spoken from his face:
Our objective was always to retain our Championship status and we’re on course to do that. I can deviate from that. I’m more ambitious than that but realistically it’s going to be very difficult in the next 14 games considering the opposition.
But anything’s achievable once the weight of that pressure is lifted from your shoulders
I like that in a boss – looking forward – and Boothroyd aside, it’s an attitude we’ve been lacking over the years.
Looking at recent form though, and you can’t really split the two teams:
- They’ve lost three out of the last four; we’ve lost three out of the last four.
- They’ve scored four goals; we’ve scored four goals.
- They’ve lost their two away games; we’ve lost our two away games.
- They’ve conceded seven goals; we’ve conceded eight.
..and that extra goal conceded is your difference. The only thing that really gives us an edge is our deceptively impressive home form.
Who could cause us trouble?
Craig Davies isn’t a huge name, but he’s a good player, and had a decent performance against Birmingham last time out. David Cotterill has just joined from Swansea and has always impressed against us. We don’t like wingers, and following an hour of football under his belt against Brum, don’t be surprised if he starts to find some sharpness in the inevitable gaps afforded to the majority of wingers when they visit the Ricoh.
Sky Blues team news
The biggest decision will be in the centre of midfield. Norwood and Deegan have tried their very hardest to cover the void left by Sammy Clingan and Thomas, who seem to be the two Thorn’s most happy to pair together.
For the most part, the covering lads have done a good job. I don’t think it’s a particularly sustainable pairing in the middle though. Positioning has been a problem in the two games they’ve played together, with huge gaps appearing at points. I just worry that we’ve fallen lucky so far, and that this hasn’t been punished by the opposition in a harsher fashion.
My main criticism of Thorn has been his unwillingness to alter anything or make the tough decisions. He seems to favour waiting until something negative happens, then reacting once it’s occured. I can’t say I’m keen on that. I’d much prefer he anticipated problems and addressed them before they can hurt us.
I reckon we’ll take this one. Forest was a bit of a git result, but it’s been all-change in the home games just lately. Hopefully that confidence’ll do the trick.
Sky Blues 2 Barnsley 0