Date: 2nd October 2013 at 1:49pm
Written by:

Whilst it was only a draw at home I went away from Oakwell encouraged by the performance against high flying Reading.

The result halted a run of four defeats in a cruel run of games in which I predicted six defeats up to and including the QPR game before the this sequence of fixtures had commenced.

It was only a point but it stopped the rot and the way Barnsley played gave me hope for the rest of season.

It was the Barnsley of last season. They had the effort, drive forward, work rate, tempo and everything that pushed them towards survival last season. All of which had been worryingly missing so far this season.

Flicker knew changes needed making to the starting eleven and in the last couple of games he has finally dispensed with the more defensive minded midfield trio of Perkins, Dawson and Etuhu and only selected one of them and in the process picking more attacking players in that area of the pitch who can cause the opposition damage.

It worked and we outplayed our opponents and it was pleasing to see such a positive response after four defeats on the bounce.

Perkins was back to the Perkins of last season. I was pleased to see Mellis and McCourt given starts and Cywka again was threatening from the bench.

We may still lack a 20 goal a season man but O`Grady, Scotland and Pedersen all pose a goal threat and all three will chip in with their fair share throughout the season.

The defence looked a lot more solid now that Cranie is back to full fitness and Kennedy finally had a good game. Whilst on the subject of Kennedy, if we are playing a flat back four then he is the choice at left back. If we are going with wing backs then I don`t think there is a place for him in the team. He lacks the athleticism for wing back and as a third centre back his positional sense and how poor he is in the air are too much of a liability.

The bench looked strong as well last night and I think Flitcroft has now found the right balance to his team.

Time will tell if this performance was a blip but I ask are the problems at Oakwell as big as results have suggested or has the fixture list just been very unkind? We have opened the season playing most of the top sides and most of them away from home as well. The real test of our ability to stay in this league will surely come with how we perform against the teams who we will be battling with for survival?