Barnsley: Johnson targeting six of the best for first time in 35 years

Lee Johnson
Lee Johnson

Reds boss Lee Johnson takes his resurgent Reds to former club Oldham on Saturday seeking six of the best.

Johnson admits they are not the ‘finished article’, but his side are in inspired form. Victory against his former charges would seal a sixth straight success, a feat last achieved some 35 years ago.

After firing three past Walsall at the weekend, Johnson was keen to stress that his side are still a work in progress.

“It wasn’t the finished article,” he admitted. “3-0 maybe flattered us, but certainly we had the chances and we were defensively sound.”

It is that solid defensive shape which has proved to be the foundation for success with the Reds having kept five straight clean sheets - a total of 481 minutes of football without conceding.

In the few short weeks since he departed Boundary Park to take the Tykes helm, Johnson has maintained a perfect record with a hat-trick of wins. These followed on from the back-to-back victories achieved by caretaker management team of Mark Burton and Paul Heckingbottom.

This fine run of results has hauled them level with sixth-placed Doncaster, and success on Saturday could see them leap into the League One play-offs for the first time this season – an achievement which seemed unlikely prior to Johnson taking the reins.

Despite having had very little time to get his ideas across on the training ground, the dynamic head coach is starting to see signs of the players taking his messages on board.

“We’ve just tried to add a few little bits,” said Johnson, anxious not to overload his squad.

“Certainly defensively to get a nice strong shape behind the ball and press off certain triggers, I think it just give the lads a bit more confidence that they can go, and go together.

“You can hear them on the pitch, and it’s almost my voice on the pitch if you like, which is nice as a coach to hear that.”