Barnsley: Wilson tells Reds drop fight may go down to final day

Barnsley boss Danny Wilson.
Barnsley boss Danny Wilson.
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Barnsley stayed up on the final day of the Championship season last year - and boss Danny Wilson has warned that the battle to beat the drop could go down to the wire again.

The Reds chief, who hopes Marcus Pedersen (hamstring) will be passed fit to play against Brighton and Hove Albion this afternoon, said: “I don’t know if it’s guaranteed, but the forecast could be that it could go down to our last game against QPR and we have to be ready for that.

“If anything changes before that, and we are fortunate enough to pull out of it before, what a great bonus that would be.

“If it goes to the last game, we will be ready for it. I hope it doesn’t, in a positive way, but we have to be prepared if it does.”

Buoyed by back-to-back away wins at Reading and Yeovil Town, Wilson is looking to reel more teams into the relegation dogfight.

“Everyone will have a different opinion on who is catchable,” he said. “We just know that if we start winning games on a regular basis - like the last two games - then that is the only thing we can do. The rest will take care of itself.

“We can’t be up and down like a fiddler’s elbow; we have to really concentrate on an equilibrium in our approach to games, irrespective of what other teams do because it can affect our performance.

“How many teams are still in it? I don’t really know. I can’t say who’s safe and who isn’t. Eight games to go and, with that many points to play for, who knows what will happen.”

Barnsley are today chasing their first double of the campaign, having claimed maximum points at the Amex Stadium back in December.

“It’s great when you get wins on the road but you always want to compound it with a home result,” conceded Wilson.

“It’s not what other teams do. It’s what we do.

“The last two games have given us great belief, and given the fans belief, which is very important.

“The scorelines have been a good reflection on how we performed. I don’t think anyone can deny that we deserved the goals we scored in the last two games.”

Wilson’s charges face a Brighton side still in the hunt for a play-off spot despite picking up just one point from four matches.

“We have watched Brighton in recent weeks and they are a very good footballing side,” said Wilson, who, along with his assistant, Chris Hutchings, used to play for Brighton. “The onus is on us being the home team.

“We have to be at it and get the fans behind us. They will hopefully see that in the tempo we play at. We have been playing well in terms of our pressing, harrying and urgency in getting around people in possession and that has given us a lot of joy in the last few games and we’ve got to do the same against Brighton.

Reds defenders Peter Ramage, Martin Cranie (both hamstring) and Jack Hunt (ankle) remain on the sidelines.