Back-to-basics approach works for Reds

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Midfielder Conor Hourihane believes a “back-to-basics” approach has got Barnsley back on track.

The Reds went five games without a win before confidence-boosting victories over Chester in FA Cup and then at home to Leyton Orient in League One at the weekend.

And Houirhane, who is the Reds’ leading scorer this season with 11 goals, hopes the tide has finally started to turn in the club’s favour with a busy festive period ahead.

The Reds take on fourth-placed Preston North End at Deepdale on Boxing Day, following by a testing home clash with Oldham Athletic three days later at Oakwell.

“These back-to-back wins are great for us going into the Christmas period, they’re going to help,” revealed Hourihane.

“We’ve gone back to basics and the wins give us a lot of confidence . We’re really looking forward to the Preston game.

“A lot of people were asking questions about us after a run of poor results, especially after we drew with Chester.

“But we’ve had a good attitude in the last couple of games. It’s been very pleasing.”

And the 23-year-old, who scored his first goal for seven games in a fine 2-0 home win over Leyton Orient on Saturday, was delighted he and his teammates were able to give manager Danny Wilson something to smile about at the weekend.

Wilson became one of only 24 managers to have reached the magic 1000 games’ milestone and Hourihane admitted: “It was all about the gaffer on Saturday.

“Reaching 1000 games [as a manager] was a fantastic achievement, so it was great to win for him.

“In this day and age managers get sacked left, right and centre, so to get 1000 games was fantastic. That victory was for him. It’s been fantastic working with the gaffer. It’s been an up and down season results-wise, but he’s stuck with us and the last two results have answered a lot of questions.

“You need to have a dream and to have a goal to aim for, so promotion is still our aim.

“If we can keep playing like we have done in the last couple of games, I don’t see why we can’t be challenging right up there [in the top six positions].”

Barnsley yesterday signed defender George Williams from Worcester City on an 18-month deal.

Meanwhile, Middlesbrough have been allocated 5,800 tickets for their FA Cup third round clash with Reds at Oakwell on Saturday 3rd January.