Barnsley boss Lee Johnson tells his side to show no fear against Chesterfield

Lee Johnson
Lee Johnson

Barnsley boss Lee Johnson has called for his side to show no fear in tomorrow’s showdown with fellow promotion-chasers Chesterfield.

The Spireites are flying high in sixth place in League One and seven points clear of the Reds.

But Johnson knows a victory – and nothing less – would set-up a mouth-watering finish to the season with just four games remaining.

“There’s a train of though isn’t there?” said Johnson. “It’s to fight to the death – and of course we do that.

“Chesterfield are hugging on to that sixth spot, so this match is like our first of five cup finals if you like.

“We’ve got to make sure we do better than we did in the home game against Sheffield United.

“But we’ve got to show no fear and try and win our remaining matches.

“Chesterfield are a good side and they’ve recruited well. I always expected them to be up there in the table.

“They’ve got good players and, if you have good players, the cream always rises and you’ll do alright.”

The Reds have lost their last two matches, but with five games left the South Yorkshire outfit – who went on a nine-game unbeaten run – still have a chance of securing a sought-after top six place.

And Johnson knows a maximum 15 points would be the best way of getting into that top six come the last game of the campaign.

“We can still make the play-offs this season, but I’d give us a slim chance,” admitted Johnson.

“I’d probably give us a five per cent chance of getting in if I’m honest now.

“It was a really disappointing Easter weekend for us. In the big picture it was probably a couple of games too far.

“We went on a brilliant run, but it was always going to be difficult to keep such a sustained run going.”

Experienced centre-back Lewin Nyatanga is a real doubt for the weekend with a head injury.

Nyatanga has missed training this week after sustaining a nasty gash above an eye in the Reds’ 3-1 defeat to Colchester United on Bank Holiday Easter Monday.

And Johnson admits he will leave it late to decide whether to play Nyatnaga or fellow centre-back Peter Ramage, with the Crystal Palace loan man chomping at the bit to get back into the first-team.

“We’re hopeful Lewin can play, but he got a really bad cut to his eye against Colchester. It looked as though he’d gone ten rounds with Mike Tyson.

“We thought about draining the fluid out, but the specialist said it was too close to the eye.

“So it was just a case of letting the healing process happen. We’ll leave it late to make a decision on whether he plays or not.”

Johnson has another selection ahead of the weekend, he must make the choice of who to play between the posts.

Sheffield Wednesday loan shot-stopper Joe Wildsmith and Adam Davies, who started against the U’s, are fighting for the number one jersey.