Robins drives Reds towards strong finish

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BARNSLEY boss Mark Robins has challenged his side to “drive on” and overhaul their Championship points tally from last season.

The Reds are unbeaten in their last three matches, which included a spirited 2-2 draw away to Cardiff City on Sunday.

And with nine games remaining, Robins’ side need nine more points to overhaul their 54 points finish from last term.

Robins said: “We are on 47 points now with nine games left, so we’ve got plenty to do and there’s still plenty of football to be played. We want to drive on until the end of this campaign.”

The Reds are in 15th place in the table, 13 points adrift of the play-offs, 13 points from the bottom three.

But if they can finish strongly, they could finish quite a few places above last season’s 18th-place final standing after 46 matches.

“At this stage of the season you’ve got teams that are battling to avoid relegation or battling to go up, but there’s very little in between,” added Robins.

“However, we can probably be considered the in between team. We are not quite close enough to be able to challenge for the Play-offs and we’re in fairly comfortable position in terms of the other end of the division.

“But we’ve not even considered the other end of the table, we’re always looking at trying to improve.

“We haven’t picked up many points away from home this season, but they’re capable of doing it.”

Next up for the Reds is a home clash with Reading before a two-week international break where all clubs will try and get their players fit for the final run-in.

But Robins is sweating on centre-backs Paul McShane and Jason Shackell who both picked up hamstring strains at the weekend along with forward Danny Haynes.

“It was a hamstring pitch [against Cardiff]; it was touch and go whether my centre halves would come out for the second half,” admitted Robins.