‘We can finish in the top two’, says James ahead of FA Cup clash

James Bailey
James Bailey
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James Bailey believes Barnsley can win automatic promotion this season.

And the former Derby County midfielder is adamant anything less, even securing a play-off place, would be a “worst case scenario”.

The Reds have a weekend off domestic duty following last Saturday’s 1-0 South Yorkshire derby win over Sheffield United, as League Two Burton Albion visit Oakwell in the FA Cup first round - a chance for the Reds to lay the foundations for a good cup run.

“We’ve got a big test against Burton,” said Bailey. “They’re a good footballing team, so hopefully we get can through this cup tie. You’d be a fool if you took a fixture like this lightly.

“We know League One is a tough division this season, but if we want to get promotion - or, worst case scenario, make the play-offs - then we’ve got to win every game. And that’s whether we’re playing well or just grinding results out. Either will do.

“I can speak for the lads, as well as the manager, when I say I don’t think any of us just want to play football to stay in this league. You want to test yourself as much as you can and get as high up in the divisions as you can possibly go.

“When you look at the players, well there’s a lot of very, very good players. We need to play as a team, work hard, and work hard defensively because we’re good attacking.

“We’ve got to get back in our positions. If we do that, stick to what the manager says, well we’ll be fine. We’ve got a good team ethic. Everybody believes in each other, the manager and the staff.”

And Reds’ boss Danny Wilson has stressed his side can’t afford to take their eye off the ball this afternoon.

“Burton have had a great start to the season,” said Wilson. “We expect it to be as tough a game as any other time, with or without a manager there.

“We won’t take our foot of the gas because they’ve got no manager. We won’t lose sight of the fact we want to win.

“I would expect them to be fully-charged up for the game and want to put one over on us.

“They’ll fancy their chances because of where we are in the league, but we know what we’re capable of and how well we’re playing.”