Robins targets five-year best

Daunting April: There's a lot to play for, says Mark Robins.
Daunting April: There's a lot to play for, says Mark Robins.
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BARNSLEY boss Mark Robins wants the club to “smash” last year’s record of 54 points.

Speaking exclusively to The Star the Reds boss has called on his ambitious charges to secure the club’s highest finish for five seasons in the npower Championship.

The club are 16th and need eight more points to better last season’s tally.

And with key players expected to return from injury after the international break, the Reds could be at full strength for the challenge.

“I want us to smash that record if we can,” said Robins. “We need eight points so with eight games remaining that’s not beyond us.

“Three more wins out of eight games would do that, but of course I’d like us to do even better than that.”

Considering the Reds have not finished higher than 18th since they won promotion back to English football’s second tier, anywhere above that position would be a good achievement.

And a real sign of progress would be to achieve a top half finish, especially having battled hard to avoid relegation in previous seasons.

“We’re looking for results and I want the players to play the way they did at times earlier in the season.

“We’ve got to be better than we were against Reading [a 1-0 defeat before the international break] because that certainly wasn’t good.”

And although the Reds face a daunting seven games in April alone, followed by a final day home clash with Millwall, Robins wants his team to “enjoy” the challenge of trying to finish strongly.

“We’ve said to all the players that we want them to enjoy the run-in. There’s still a lot to play for.

“The international break has given players a rest and it’s helped with injuries.

“But at the same time we’ve been starved of football and we’re all looking forward to playing Crystal Palace [at Selhurst Park] on Saturday.”