How Barnsley can escape the drop

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Liverpool loan ace Ryan McLaughlin believes Barnsley face a ‘cup final’ every game until the end of the season in their quest to avoid relegation.

The 19-year-old impressed on his Reds’ debut as they beat Blackpool on Saturday. And three points closed the gap to just four points on them hauling themselves out of the drop zone.

“We needed the three points badly, so I was happy to play my part and that we got the win” said McLaughlin. “We’re in the relegation zone, so every game is like a cup final. But now we’ve got these three points hopefully we can kick off a little run. The Championship is a hard league and everybody knows that, so we’re just happy to have got a win in.”

McLaughlin signed for the Reds on an initial 28-day loan deal, but the Northern Ireland U21 international says: “I’d definitely like to stay here longer, but it’s up to Liverpool. They’ll decide what they think is best for my development, but I’d love to stay. I want to play as many first team games as possible.

“I’m sure there will have been people at the game [on Saturday] from Liverpool, so hopefully I impressed.”

Reds boss Danny Wilson is convinced the arrival of new signings McLaughlin, Stoke City winger Brek Shea and former Sunderland midfielder Liam Lawrence has given the strugglers a lift. He said: “The new players have given us a bit of spark and that energy and pace that we’ve lacked.

“I thought the two debutants, Brek and Ryan were outstanding.”