Barnsley FC vs Middlesbrough: Why Callum Styles is so confident the Reds can avoid drop

Callum Styles says Barnsley are channelling the same spirit shown in their 2019/20 great escape season as they attempt to pull off another small miracle.

Thursday, 24th February 2022, 2:09 pm
Updated Thursday, 24th February 2022, 3:59 pm

This time two years ago the Reds were in an almost identical position to the one they currently find themselves in, sitting nine points from Championship safety with 14 games left to play, although they were five points better off.

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Seven subsequent wins and three draws – as well as a 12-point deduction for Wigan Athletic for entering administration – saw them beat the drop on the final day.

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Callum Styles celebrates Barnsley's opening goal against Hull City.

"The biggest thing was probably the togetherness and belief we created among us,” recalled Styles, who netted the opener in Tuesday’s 2-0 win over Hull.

"It was just a ‘we have got nothing to lose’ kind of feeling. We just went out to play our way and get the wins.”

The heroics of that achievement have been a source of inspiration the class of 2021/22, who have taken six points from their last three matches.

Midfielder Styles, aged 21, added: "It means that it’s not impossible, so as long as something’s not impossible it’s easily achievable if we put our heart into it, we keep winning and we all stick together.

"Togetherness is key, I think, and the belief’s always there.

“The belief in both sets of squads is the same because we believe we can do it and we did it then, so there’s no reason saying we can’t do it now."

Barnsley take on Chris Wilder’s much-improved Middlesbrough, who have won three of their last five, at home on Saturday knowing a point could move them off bottom spot.