Barnsley: Rejuvenated Reds target sixth successive win

Reds striker Sam Winnall
Reds striker Sam Winnall
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Reds striker Sam Winnall believes he has come back into a team who are “on fire”.

Five successive league wins – the first time by the club since 1981 – has seen the resurgent Reds climb to seventh in League One.

And victory away to new manager Lee Johnson’s former club, Oldham Athletic, on Saturday, could see the South Yorkshire club break into the play-offs for the first time this season.

The Reds have not conceded a goal in 481 minutes, proof that they have markedly tightened up at the back following Danny Wilson’s departure.

“The lads are on fire,” praised Winnall, back and pushing for a long-awaited first-team start after three months on the sidelines with a frustrating hamstring injury.

“That’s five wins and five clean sheets in a row. It’s been brilliant.

“Every win has just bred confidence, so we’re going into every game now thinking we can win. All we need to do now is keep on the run. If we can keep the cleansheets and keep scoring the goals, then hopefully we can be in that top six come [the last game of the season on] May 3rd.

“We’ve got to try and maintain the same level of performance we showed on Saturday [against Oldham].”

And Winnall, who has featured as a second half substitute in the club’s last four games since returning from injury, believes new boss Johnson, and his assistant Tommy Wright, deserve plenty of credit for the turnaround.

“He’s [Lee] added an enthusiasm since he’s come in,” revealed Winnall. “You just have to look at our organization, as a team we look good all over the pitch.

“We look as if we know our jobs and everything is clear to everyone needs to do.

“Credit to him and Tommy [Wright]. They’ve told us what they want from us – and we’re doing our best to do it.”

And now he’s back in the first-team fold, Winnall is looking forward to striking a bond with fellow centre-forward George Waring. Stoke City marksman Waring has bagged four goals in his last three games.

“George has just grown from strength-to-strength in the last five games,” added Winnall.