Barnsley boss David Flitcroft is relishing tomorrow’s Yorkshire derby clash at Huddersfield Town.
The Reds’ Championship future hangs on the result and Flitcroft knows victory would complete a remarkable salvage operation with the Reds having been rooted to the bottom of the table at the turn of the year.
“It’s a game we’ve always wanted” said Flitcroft. What looked like the impossible 20 games ago could now be achieved if we can get the result we’re looking for.”
A point for the Terriers, managed by former Reds’ boss Mark Robins, would be enough to see them safe in front of their own supporters.
But the Reds have sold out their 4,000-ticket allocation for what Flitcroft believe with by a “high octane” finish to the season.
“I didn’t expect the magnitude of the game for both clubs,” admitted Flitcroft. “If I’m being honest I didn’t think other teams would keep with us after the run we’ve been on, so it’s going to be a high-octane finish for everyone. I’d love for us, Huddersfield and Sheffield Wednesday to stay in the Championship. It would be great for next season because we’d have a great northern league.
“And with Doncaster promoted and Sheffield United also in with a chance of coming up, well it would make for some great games. It would make for a great league. The prize to stay up is even bigger because we could be playing those games.”
The Reds lost 1-0 to the Terriers earlier this season when a first-half Jermaine Beckford goal secured the points for the visitors at Oakwell. But despite three victories in their last four matches, the Terriers are still not safe. Tomorrow’s match will be the first time the Reds have faced Huddersfield on their home patch since 2006 when they beat them in the League One Play-offs finals. And Flitcroft is glad of the return of some of his injured players for one final push for safety.
Defenders Rory Delap (calf) and Rob Edwards (hamstring) are both in contention for selection, while midfielder Stephen Dawson returns from a three-game suspension. However, midfielder Jacob Mellis faces a fitness test to see whether he’ll play any part in the club’s biggest game of the season.