Danny Wilson didn’t see his Barnsley side slipping to such an overwhelming defeat at the hands of Huddersfield Town last weekend.
But the Reds boss has called for his players to use the unexpected 5-0 thumping as a “wake-up call” to get their faltering season back on track.
Wilson knows that, while the disappointing Yorkshire derby defeat to the Terriers was particularly hard to swallow, other results went the Reds’ way and that means they could still climb out of the relegation zone with a win in their next match.
“I didn’t see it coming, not all, especially after the way we played against Millwall [a 1-0 win],” Wilson told The Star.
“I didn’t see it coming for the first 30 minutes against Huddersfield either, because we were playing well and should have probably been ahead.
“It’s all hypothetical now but we were very fortunate other results went our way, so we’ve got to try and take advantage of that.
“The result is a real wake-up call for us and I hope it hits home with the players so they respond this week at home against Nottingham Forest.
“There were a lot of harsh words said after the match and a lot of the fans voiced their opinions, but we’ve got to be big enough and strong enough to deal with that criticism when it comes our way.
“Nobody is expecting us to get anything from our next two games [against Forest and then Championship leaders Leicester City], but we’ve to try and make that work to our advantage.”
Wilson and his players still have 14 games to save their season and, while they might be rooted to the bottom of the table, only four points separates them from 20th place, currently held by South Yorkshire rivals Doncaster United.
“We’ve got to have a really good go against Forest and see if we can cause an upset,” stressed Wilson.
“If we could win and get out of the bottom three, well that would be a massive psychological boost for us.
“There’s still 14 games to go, but if we could get out of the bottom three before the last 10 games of the season - that’s always a game-changer - then that would be brilliant.”