Robins welcomes higher expectation levels

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BARNSLEY boss Mark Robins believes expectations levels have risen seen he took over the managerial reigns at Oakwell.

The Reds are three points adrift of where they were in Championship table at this stage last season - and today visit Derby County, opponents who they have not lost to in their five previous meetings.

And having been beaten 2-0 away to Norwich City last Saturday, Robins and charges are keen to bounce back with a welcome win.

“The expectation has gone up since I have been here,” revealed Robins.

“When I first came in it was just to survive in the division, but it’s fine expectations have risen because mine have gone up as well.

“We set out trying to improve on last season’s points tally and position. It’s still our aim to try to improve on last season.

“It’s open to interpretation whether we have done that or not, but in my opinion we have improved.

“My target is to win as many games as we can from now until the end of the season. I think at the start of the year we were looking at trying to settle down and gel the players because we had about 15 players coming in and had a situation where there was a high turnover of players.

“Things in this division change very quickly, they change game by game.”

And Robins knows the Reds face a tough test against the Rams, despite this weekend’s hosts struggling for form and coming into the match on the back of a 3-1 home defeat to Doncaster Rovers on Tuesday night at Pride Park.

“Everybody is looking forward to playing Derby,” added Robins. “We are going to a great club with great tradition. We are looking at getting a decent result off the back of a really poor one against Norwich.”

Full-back Bobby Hassell will definitely be missing with a calf injury, but The Star understands midfielder’s Nathan Doyle and Jacob Mellis, and skipper Jason Shackell are all likely to be fit.