Past record has Barnsley wary of League One strugglers like Bradford City

Barnsley's Kieffer Moore (left) is available to start after suffering from a back problem
Barnsley's Kieffer Moore (left) is available to start after suffering from a back problem

Barnsley assistant head coach Andreas Winkler says his side cannot afford to look at the league position of their upcoming opponents.

After a tricky Christmas period where they faced four out of five games against teams in the top six, they are about to enter – on paper at least – an easier run of fixtures.

They begin against Bradford on Saturday before games against AFC Wimbledon, Rochdale, Oxford and Scunthorpe, who all currently occupy the bottom seven.

The Reds will be targeting a large points haul from this period having remained unbeaten against superior opposition over the festive period.

But Winkler has offered a cautionary tale and pointed to previous performances against teams who are struggling.

“First of all we have to take this momentum, we can’t think about whether the opponent is in the bottom of the league or the top of the league,” he said.

“If you look at the past, we struggle against these teams. What I have learned over the last few months is that there is no team where you can just win like that.”

The clash against the Bantams is their third meeting of the season following the reverse fixture and a Checkatrade Trophy clash, with the Reds winning both.

Bradford looked like being on a one-way track to League Two, but have won four of their last five games to mount a fight against relegation.

And Winkler insists they are now a team with a plan.

“We beat them two times now so it will be a battle and they will want to show us they are a better team.,” he said. “They have a lot more organisation. They didn’t change their formation, but they are better organised and they have a clear pattern.

“With every win, every point, they gain their self confidence rises. They know how to defend and attack.

“The manager is doing a great job. We always have to have respect for the opponent, especially Bradford, it’s a Yorkshire derby so I know what the supporters expect.”

For the first time this season the Reds' treatment room is empty and Winkler is pleased to have options, with striker Kieffer Moore ready to start after a back problem.

Winkler said: “The staff are doing a great job. If they have days off, they are here and you can call them in the night and they will work with the lads.”