Barnsley: Ex-boss Mark Robins will be chasing ‘a big scalp’ when bringing Coventry City to Oakwell

Barnsley assistant head coach Dale Tonge knows the Reds are coming up against a man who might have added incentive this weekend.

Thursday, 28th March 2019, 12:33 pm
Updated Friday, 29th March 2019, 12:40 pm
Mark Robins

Former manager Mark Robins is bringing his Coventry side to Oakwell as they try and continue their play-off push.

Robins was at the Barnsley helm for two years before leaving in 2011 after falling out with the board over finances.

He had delivered two successful seasons in the Championship, having moved from Rotherham, where he managed Tonge.

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Sitting four points behind Doncaster in sixth place, Robins' current club could do with a win if they are to gatecrash the play-offs and Tonge knows exactly how his former boss will be preparing.

“I know Mark personally, he coached me as a player, I know what he's like, I know him as a character,” Tonge said.

“I know how he'll be addressing his players, he'll know that is it a massive opportunity for them to come and get a good scalp.

“He'll be coming here wanting to win, not just because of Coventry, but obviously he left this club probably not the way he liked, so he will be wanting to get one over us.

“He is a really good bloke, very honest, very hard working. He is doing well with Coventry and I hope he gets a good reception.”

Barnsley are in pole position for automatic promotion from League One and can tighten the screw on the chasing pack this weekend.

Third-place Portsmouth and fourth-place Sunderland are not in league action as they meet in the Checkatrade Trophy final at Wembley.

That could allow the Reds to extend their gap and put points on the board as opposed to games in hand.

Tonge added: “The bigger the gap we can get before those two play again the better, because it is only going to add to the pressure, whether that be psychological of just looking at the table or the pressure of knowing they have to win every game, it can only be a benefit to us if we do our job.”

Barnsley's unbeaten home run, which has now extended beyond a calender year will be put under the test again.

Tonge said: “It is not something we have focused on at all. We know that we dominate possession, and aim to dominate teams in other areas and at this moment in time it is proving fruitful.”