Date: 15th January 2016 at 5:19pm
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Manager Lee Johnson and Alfie Mawson have both been speaking ahead of this weekend’s game against Shrewsbury Town.

Beginning with Johnson, in his pre game press interviews as covered by the Official Site the gaffer spoke about transfers, injuries and the general spirit within the squad.

‘We`ve had a couple of niggles from the weekend (Fleetwood). It`s a case of getting the walking wounded back ready. Josh Scowen has trained non-contact which is good, so I`m hopeful he`ll be available within the next 7-14 days. I`m well chuffed with that it`s earlier than thought. Lewin Nyatanga is out injured, he got injured on his knee in a training game. Not sure on Marley Watkins is the honest answer – it was a bad one but it`s settled quickly. It could be two weeks it could be six. The good thing about him is he never loses fitness, everything he does is 100%.’

With it being confirmed that Reece Wabara had departed, Johnson went on to repeat this was now an opportunity for a better prepared James Bree to stake his claim.

‘Breezy (James Bree) has done well. The time Reece (Wabara) has had in the team has helped James, we needed to go through some basics with him. We needed to go to basics on the defending part, and now he`s definitely ready, he`s got a chance to show that. Temps (Matty Templeton) is another good prospect for us, he can be a real impact player for us, he can definitely affect the game. Harry White is in good goal-scoring form as well at the minute, we might look to use him off the bench.’

With Josh Brownhill coming in, Johnson was hopeful of a little more transfer activity in the coming days given the feelers he’s got out, but as ever it’s whether you can get deals over the line.

‘It`s been difficult, January is always difficult to get that experience. Surprisingly the midfielders have been the big issue for us and centre halves for other clubs. We`ve narrowed our market as well because we need the JPT eligibility, we`ve spoke to every club in the Premier League, Championship and Scottish Premiership, as well as the top half of league one. We`re trying. We need to strengthen in midfield as we`ve only got Scowen coming back, Hourihane who`s done well but then it`s just young lads, for example Brad Abbott who did well the other day. Wabara has left the club, and I have to say he`s been a good lad to have a round. We`ve improved him, the last 5 or 6 games his defending has been so much better, his tackling and blocking of crosses has been good as well. He`s so young still so it`s frustrating to lose him, but we`ve got James Bree who has progressed really well behind the scenes. It`s a big chance now for Bree to light his name up, not just on the Barnsley stage.’

As for Shrewsbury more specifically, Johnson said it wouldn’t be about ‘revenge’ this weekend following the Oakwell defeat earlier in the season.

‘They`ve backed Micky, they`ve brought in signings and experience. I`ve watched the DVD`s of both Chesterfield and Cardiff matches. You try not to look at it like revenge, we`re a better side now than we were when we lost to them. The Shrewsbury match we dominated the game, if we for example would have had Hammill in that game we would have created more. We got done by a sucker punch due to going for the win, but it is what it is, they`ve got new players as have we, it`ll be a tight game but we feel we have enough to get the chances to win. We`ve had two wins on the spin in the league, a couple of losses in eight, it is looking up and we`re looking a bit more potent. We have to keep going and make sure we keep our best 11 out there as it`s a match for most teams in the division. There`s always potential for a run, if we can keep players in form and get a couple of injuries back, plus a couple of signings, so who knows. It`s about the quality not the quantity. If we can get 14 or 15 quality league one players plus our bright young stars coming up behind them we`ll do well.’

Alfie Mawson was also speaking ahead of the game, he said we went into the match in great confidence given the performances of late.

‘It`s a massive game, the way we`ve been playing lately has been reflective in our results, they`ve picked up. We`re starting to work our way up the table and Shrewsbury are in the same position. They`ll be well up for it, which puts it into context how important it is. We could open a gap up on them if we can win it. In the league they got beat 7-1 then went and beat Cardiff! We know what they`re going to do, we need to come together and get a plan together to beat them. It was a matter of time before things started to click and we got that bit of luck that we deserved as we`ve been putting in good performances. Psychologically it gives you a boost, we know we`re working our way up now, so we can express ourselves more and relax a little bit. The confidence is high and as you can see from Saturday the result wasn`t the best, but on another day we`d have lost that game before, but now we`re still in the cup.’

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