Barnsley boss David Flitcroft has admitted his side have a “massive fight on our hands” in their bid to avoid relegation.
But with four games remaining - and 12 points to play for - Flitcroft is still confident the Reds can avoid the dreaded drop.
Derby County are tonight’s visitors at Oakwell where Saturday’s 6-0 drubbing by Charlton Athletic dropped the Reds back into the relegation zone, one point adrift of safety.
To make matters worse, Flitcroft will be without experienced defender Stephen Foster who has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a calf tear picked up in that game.
“Losing him [Foster] is massive because his experience is invaluable,” said Flitcroft.
“His calf just blew up with 20 minutes to go so he’s out for the season.”
But Flitcroft was has been boosted by the return of Martin Cranie. He has returned from a hamstring injury and is expected to fill Foster’s place at centre-back.
However, midfielder Stephen Dawson is suspended for three matches after his red card for serious foul play against Charlton although the club have lodged an appeal and the Dubliner may be a surprise inclusion tonight if it’s successful and the decision comes through in time.
Left back Tom Kennedy is suspended for one match for his red for a professional foul on Saturday.
“The season will go down to the wire,” stressed Flitcroft. “I’ve said it from when I took over that we didn’t have enough points on the board from the start for it not to go down to the wire.”
“There’s going to be some more upset and there’s going to be come more turbulence in the last four games.”
Peterborough, immediately above the Reds, are at home to Brighton whilst the next two in the table, Blackburn and Huddersfield, clash at Ewood Park. Wolves entertain Hull.