Date: 3rd February 2016 at 7:12pm
Written by:

With Barnsley going into the second leg Area Final against Fleetwood Town in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy on Thursday evening it’s all to play for following the first leg draw, and of course with Oxford United winning through against Millwall the other night, we know our potential opposition at Wembley as well.

Speaking to the Official Site in his pre game press conference, manager Lee Johnson said all the players could do was focus on the game itself and not get distracted by anything else.

Of course unbeaten in seven with six wins is good form that confidence can be taken from though.

‘We have to recognise the magnitude of the situation we`re in and I think the players do. I have to keep people calm, switched on and focused. We`ll go in with a plan and the players live in the moment and it`s about not letting them start dreaming because that`s how they become unstuck. Nobody wants to go to Wembley and lose, I`ve been there and lost and trust me, it hurts. It almost becomes a one-off game because we`re one knockout from competing for silverware. I think we froze a little in the first game but it`s about getting ready now for the next game and it`s a case of doing a lot of what we have been doing recently and getting ready for a massive game.’

Johnson confirmed we would however probably be without Adam Hammill and Aiden White for the trip to Highbury.

‘We want to have the best available 16 for what is a huge game for us, everyone is buzzing and we want to go to Fleetwood and continue our good form. If we do that we`ll create chances and if we stick the ball in the back of the net and stay solid, we`ve got a good chance. They might be slight favourites being at home but our fans will go there and make it a home game for us and that`s all we ask. Adam Hammill and Aidy White are coming on quite well. We`ll have a look today and see if we can push them but it`s probably too early.’


‘We have a huge game Thursday and then Bury on Sunday and nothing will take my focus away from that and from where we were earlier this season, the players should take the credit for turning it around.’

With the January transfer window now behind us and Johnson being particularly active on deadline day bringing in Shaun Tuton, Charlie Harris and Josh Kay, but Johnson did confirm that Kevin Long would now be leaving the club when his extension expires on February 19.

‘Yesterday was a successful day. We`ve improved the underbelly, kept our best players but it was a successful day all round. We`ve brought in a lad from Halifax to put into the first team. Our recruitment team had seen he was in-form and he`s exciting because he`s fairly new to football. The full time training will help him and we see a guy who works his socks off and he`s young enough to keep learning. We`d have liked to have kept Kevin Long for the season but Sean Dyche said that was always the plan to get him back to games.’

One player not moving was Sam Winnall, and that was a pleasure for the gaffer as well.

‘It was well documented. But we always wanted to keep Sam and he has been an ultimate professional and for him to score on Saturday shows what kind of guy he is. He loves the club but like all footballers, he wants to play at the highest level and I`ll say to him; fire us into the championship with 25 goals and to a Wembley final if he scores on Thursday.’

Barnsley Bloggers

Join The Vital Debate