Barnsley head coach Daniel Stendel believes the character shown in the 3-0 win at Southend will stand his side in good stead for the promotion run-in.
The Tykes were up against it at Roots Hall when Jacob Brown was sent off. But they refused to let it affect their spirits as they scored three second-half goals. The three points ensured Barnsley stayed two in front of third-placed Sunderland, who they welcome to Oakwell a week on Tuesday.
“It is not too easy when you play the third game against the same team – in the cup and the home game – so it’s expected you win this game,” Stendel said. “The kick for our team was the red card. I think we had good chances before and after it was a test for our mentality for the last 11 games. I think we passed it.”
Barnsley’s 15-match unbeaten run has been built on a solid defence, which has conceded just 28 goals in 35 games. They have also now kept three consecutive clean sheets.
“It is very important for us,” he said. “Even with 10 men we wanted to keep Southend away from our goal. When we can not all defend, we have one of the best goalkeepers in the league saving the ball. It was good from all players, starting from Cauley in front all the way to Davo (Adam Davies). We win together.”
After two goalless draws in the previous three games without injured striker Kieffer Moore, Barnsley finally showed they can perform without their 18-goal top-scorer.
McGeehan now has five strikes for the season, Woodrow continues to lead the line superbly and Green also proved his worth.
The Reds continue their assault on the promotion race when they welcome Accrington to Oakwell on Saturday.
They could take their unbeaten league run at home to 51 weeks if they do not lose against Stanley as they were last defeated on home soil by Millwall on March 17 last year.
That leaves their current run at 21 games over the course of two seasons.