BARNSLEY trained at Manchester United’s Carrington training complex yesterday for a second day ahead of this weekend’s eagerly-anticipated FA Cup quarter-final clash with Manchester City.
The Reds face the Blues - the current Premier League champions - at the Ethiad Stadium looking to spring their biggest shock since 2008 when they dumped out former winners Liverpool with a fine 2-1 win at Anfield.
A month later that Reds team, then managed by Simon Davey, went on to upset Chelsea 1-0 to earn themselves a coveted semi-final showdown at Wembley.
And a cup run is just what the doctor ordered at Oakwell this season with the Reds having struggled badly for form and been languishing at the wrong end of the table for most of what has proved to be frustrating league campaign.
Former boss Keith Hill lost his job just before the turn of the year when the club reached their lowest ebb having sunk to the bottom of the table.
But under Hill’s former assistant David Flitcroft, who inspired a much-needed nine-game unbeaten run, the Reds have fought hard to keep their Championship retention hopes alive.
And it was victory in the FA Cup, a 1-0 win over Burnley back in January, which kick-started a revival in the Reds’ fortunes.
Wins over Hull City and MK Dons followed to leave the Oakwell outfit one win away from returning to Wembley for the first time in nearly five years.
Perhaps surprisingly Barnsley had been eliminated from the FA Cup in the first round for the past four seasons.
But the two-time finalists are in the quarter-final on merit and looking to cause a shock.
Defender Scott Golbourne (knee) and midfielder Paul Digby (hip) are both definitely missed trough injury, while Sheffield Wednesday loan striker Chris O’Grady is cup-tied.
Defender Jimmy McNulty is a major doubt with an ankle injury, but Irush midfielder Stephen Dawson could return after a lengthy lay-off with ankle ligament damage.
Other loan recruits, Manchester United’s Ryan Tunnicliffe and Stoke City’s Rory Delap are both eligible to play having not played for their parent clubs in the FA Cup this season.