Reds ‘buzzing’ ahead of play-offs: Winnall

Sam Winnall with the JPT
Sam Winnall with the JPT
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Star striker Sam Winnall says the Barnsley squad are buzzing ahead of the first leg of their play-off semi-final clash with Walsall.

The in-form frontman bagged a brace on the last game of the season – a 4-1 win over champions Wigan – to give the Reds the chance to earn a return to the Championship.

They host the Saddlers, who finished third in the league, on Saturday teatime at what is expected to be a packed Oakwell.

And Winnall has sensed plenty of positivity and confidence amongst his peers in training this week.

“We’re really excited,” said the former Scunthorpe man. “Everyone is in really good spirits after the win against Wigan.

“For a lot of the people in the squad it’s the first time they’ve reached the play-offs and I think everyone is buzzing to be here. All of us can’t wait for it to kick off.

“We’ve had our eyes on the prize, we knew what was at stake and we’ve bought into everything that the coaching and medical staff have put in front of us.

“We’ve gone from strength to strength and trained really well and it’s been showing on the pitch the way results have been going for us.

“Hopefully the run we’ve had in the league will stand us in good stead for the play-offs.”

Barnsley have been no strangers to big games this season, whether it be in relegation battles, promotion pushes, or securing silverware in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

Much was made of the inexperience within the squad during their early season struggles, but Winnall and co. have stepped up to prove that they are capable of dealing with any occasion.

He added: “Every single game we’ve played we’ve had something on the line.

“From December, in the league and the JPT as well, we’ve had massive games; none bigger than the game at Wigan - that was a massive game for us and we went and produced the business.

“I think that’s definitely something us as a group can take a lot of pride in, that when it’s mattered and we’ve been under pressure we’ve produced the results.”