Barnsley: Cranie relishing Dawson reunion

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Skipper Martin Cranie expects a ‘Clash of the Titans’ with former teammate Stephen Dawson tomorrow.

Struggling Barnsley take on in-form Rochdale at Spotland, with three former players likely to line-up against the Reds.

And Cranie’s midfield showdown with Dubliner Dawson is tipped to be one of the key battles of what promises to be a fiery contest.

Dawson rejected a new contract at Oakwell this summer and returned to Rochdale to team up with former Reds boss Keith Hill.

Former Reds winger Matty Done, who has been in fine form this season, and ex-Barnsley left-back Tom Kennedy are also amongst the Rochdale ranks.

Kennedy is not likely to start, but Done and midfielder Dawson are expected to feature and Cranie said: “Me and Daws both know each other really well.

“He’s a good of mine, we’ve stayed in touch since he left the club and I’ve been really happy for him that he’s been doing well.

“Deep down I’m sure we both know it’s going to a real tussle, but we’ll both relish that. I’m looking forward to playing against him, but at the end of the day it’s about us going there and trying to get the points.”

The versatile Cranie is more accustomed to playing at centre-back this season, with many of his consistent performances there having helped the Reds go on an five-match unbeaten run earlier this term.

But the 28-year-old has happily stepped up for Reds boss Danny Wilson and impressed in a central midfield role in the last few matches, although the Reds have struggled for results.

“It’s a collective effort, we can’t just look at the defence for the results we’ve had recently,” Cranie told The Star, having seen the Reds slip to 21st in the table after four league matches without a win.

“Our home form has been terrible to be honest, but we know we’re better than that. It’s about picking up the points now and finding that form.

“I’m happy playing wherever the gaffer wants me too, just as long as we start winning and get on a run to get us where we want to be in the league.”

Meanwhile Wilson told this newspaper that trialist Stephen Pearson, the former Swindon Town winger, has left the club. But the club are expected to re-sign Crystal Palace defender Peter Ramage on a three-month loan deal today.

Wilson has also expressed an interest in signing the Fulham striker

Marcello Trotta on loan.