BARNSLEY boss Mark Robins believes their is no better occasion than a Yorkshire derby against Leeds United to re-ignite the passion in his side.
The Reds slipped to a frustrating 1-0 defeat at Portsmouth on Saturday. But Robins, whose side are 14th in the Championship, thumped United 5-2 at home earlier in the season. And the Oakwell boss wants more of the same - this time at Elland Road with a bumper crowd expected for this clash of local rivals.
“What a game to come back to,” said Robins. “It’s a great chance to try and get a win against one of our local rivals Leeds United.
“It’s a big game that everyone looks forward to. Leeds are a big club with a big following.
“The result we got against them at Oakwell gave our fans a lot to shout about and be proud. Leeds will want to turn that around this time.
“We’ve put the Portsmouth defeat behind us now, it’s time to kick on.”
The Reds were undone by a set piece six minutes from time against Pompey and Robins has warned his side to be focused so they avoid another late slip-up.
“We’ve got to make sure we defend the set-plays well enough in the cauldron that is Elland Road,” added Robins. “It’s about the players understanding what’s required of them when they go on a football field.“It’s about getting into the right areas to give your team a lift – and especially in terms of the goalscoring side of it.”
The Reds sold over 1,800 tickets for tonight’s match with both sets of supporters hoping for a seven-goal thriller like last September.
“There’s going to be a big crowd and their supporters are going to get behind their team because they’ve been doing very well,” Robins said.
“They have turned their season around nicely since they last played us, it will be a difficult game. We have played some really good games away from home, but just not enough of them. Our players will be ready for the match - hopefully we’ll get back to winning ways.”
And Robins is glad an experienced referee in the shape of Mark Clattenburg will be in charge of proceedings. “Mark is an experienced referee and the game needs that. There’s no way he will succumb to any pressure from the home crowd,”
Centre-back Stephen Foster and midfielder Hugo Colace miss tonight’s game through injury, as do full-backs Jay McEveley and Luke Potter who are both recovering from knee ligament operations.