Barnsley: Boss ‘expecting’ to beat the Blades

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Barnsley caretaker chief Paul Heckingbottom believes his side are in for a tough local derby against rivals Sheffield United, writes Neil Goulding.

The Reds could leapfrog their way into the Sky Bet League One play-off places with a draw or better at Bramall Lane on Saturday, if other results go their way.

But Heckingbottom is adamant that the Blades cannot be taken for granted, especially due to their recent run of results.

“If you look at their form right now it’s probably what they would have expected all season,” said the 38-year-old. “I’ve not seen all of their games but I would have expected them to be posing a bigger challenge.

“They may have underachieved over the season but at this moment in time they’re in good form. We know that we’re taking them on at probably the toughest time of the season now they’re chasing the play-offs.

“They’ve got nothing to lose and they’ve got the big players in the team performing well, so it’ll be tough. They’re going to be expecting to win, just like we’re going there expecting to win.

“But we’re not worried about them, we’re worried about ourselves and the teams above us.”

Heckingbottom expects a real derby day experience, but feels his side will cope with the pressure.

He said: “I think it’ll be a real derby as well, with both sets of fans and hopefully that transcends to the players on the pitch. I don’t think we’ll be feeling the pressure, we’re excited about it. The reason we bill them all as big games and put expectation on the players is because we were hoping we’d be in this position.”

Aidy White is the only possible change to the squad that beat Peterborough on Tuesday, after having an injection to his abdominal muscles.