DAVID Perkins has called on Barnsley to turn Oakwell into a “fortress” after amassing just three points in their last four Championship home matches.
You have to go back to September 1 for the last time the Reds triumphed in front of their own backyard, chalking up a 1-0 victory over Bristol City.
Since then, a disappointing 2-0 defeat to struggling Peterborough United has been sandwiched in between draws with Blackpool, Ipswich Town and Crystal Palace. A meagre 8,195 supporters turned out to watch Barnsley earn a share of the spoils with the Eagles in midweek thanks to Perkins stunning long range drive.
Keith Hill’s troops have slipped to 17th in the table after a run of just two wins from eight outings and workaholic central midfielder Perkins is urging the team to get back to winning ways when they welcome Nottingham Forest tomorrow.
He told The Star: “It is always important to win your home games and take the pressure off your away form.
“We have to get the crowd behind us. If you can make your home ground a fortress, you will always have a good season.”
Perkins, contracted to Barnsley until 2014, received high praise from both Hill and Palace assistant manager Lennie Lawrence after his fine effort in the 86th minute denied the visitors maximum points.
“If anybody but Perkins is involved at that little bit of play at the end then we win,” said Lawrence. “Only he on their team could have possibly done what he done. Nobody else could have done that for them.”
Although he appreciated the praise from Lawrence, Perkins was just relieved to open his goal account for the season.
“It is always nice to get accolades from managers,” he admitted. “I was made up to score. I have never been a prolific goal-scorer so it was nice to get on the scoresheet.
“I knew it was going in when I hit it. Usually they just go over the bar!”
Eleventh-placed Forest head to South Yorkshire looking to stretch their unbeaten run to five matches. An injury-time strike from substitute Dexter Blackstock rescued a point for Sean O’Driscoll’s side at Blackpool on Tuesday. Forest boast two former Doncaster Rovers players in their ranks in Simon Gillett and Billy Sharp, who has scored in his last two matches.
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