Barnsley: Upbeat David sets sights on Reds revival

Middlesbrough midfielder Jacob Butterfield is set to return to Oakwell.
Middlesbrough midfielder Jacob Butterfield is set to return to Oakwell.
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David Flitcroft believes the only way is up for Barnsley.

Under-fire Reds boss Flitcroft and his struggling side host Middlesbrough at Oakwell tomorrow in their first outing after a two-week international break.

It’s a great opportunity for the South Yorkshire club to climb off the bottom of the Championship table after just one win in 11 league matches so far.

“We’re at the bottom of the league and the only way we can go is up – and we will go up,” stressed Flitcroft.

“You know what you’re getting with Middlesbrough. There’s a lot of pace and expression in the team, but they do leak a lot of goals.

“But they play with an adventure. They always have done and they always will do.

“They can be the most exciting team when they’re at full tilt, but we’ve done our homework and we’re looking forward to it.”

The match sees the return of former club captain Jacob Butterfield to Oakwell for the first time since leaving for Premier League Norwich City.

Now signed for Boro, Butterfield made giant strides under former Reds’ boss Keith Hill and Flitcroft, then the assistant manager, during his time at Barnsley.

“I take a huge amount of pride [how well Jacob has done],” revealed Flitcroft.

“We saw that potential in Butts from day one, we saw his qualities.

“Hilly made him our captain, gave him the chance to lead by performance and that gave him a responsibility that no one had ever trusted him with before.

“I think he felt that trust. From the early days in training we knew we had a special talent.

“We’ve tried to bring him back here three or four times, but we’ve hit the post a few times. He’s an incredible talent and we’d have liked to have worked with him again.”

Crystal Palace loan defender Peter Ramage [thigh] and goalkeeper Luke Steele [back] will miss the weekend’s clash with Boro, but Jean-Yves M’voto, Lewin Nyatanga and Bobby Hassell are all in contention to partner Martin Cranie in the centre of defence. Nyatanga is still recovering from a troublesome knee injury.