Barnsley FC will get their rewards, according to Dale Tonge
Barnsley assistant manager Dale Tonge accepts that his side's automatic promotion hopes are out of their hands going into the final few weeks of the season.
The Reds occupy second spot in League One, but Sunderland and Portsmouth sit just two points behind them in third and fourth place respectively and each have a game in hand.
There are sure to be plenty of twists and turns in the final few games of the season, especially as the Black Cats and Pompey have to play each other, while with two games in quick succession over the Easter holiday could change the picture dramatically.
Even if the Reds do miss out on the top two, Tonge reckons his side will go into the play-offs in fine fettle.
“If we do our job, we hope that at the end of it we get our rewards at the end of it,” said Tonge. “If not, we go into the play-offs in great momentum.
“It’s not in our hands, ultimately. We know we can’t focus on them, we know the permutations.”
It has been an interesting week for the Reds, given what happened with their manager Daniel Stendel at the end of the match with Fleetwood last Saturday, but the Tonge is happy the focus is returning to football.
The Reds face a crucial Easter weekend, with the visit of Shrewsbury on Good Friday followed by a lengthy trip to Plymouth on Monday.
“Two games in three days, you’ve got to focus on yourselves,” he said. “If you do your job and others slip up, it can have a massive bearing in a short space of time.
“We’re expecting a very tough Shrewsbury team. They’re not quite out of it themselves yet, it’s a very strange league this season. I expect the aggression and intensity to be there. We’re expecting a team that’s going to come and want to fight.”
Tonge also confirmed central-defender Liam Lindsay missed out last weekend because of an injury picked up in training, but could be back in time for the visit of the Shrews.
“He’ll step up his rehab this week and we’ll see if he’s available for Friday,” added Tonge.