Barnsley will be better for Boro mauling, says boss Lee Johnson

Mason Holgate
Mason Holgate

Barnsley boss Lee Johnson believes his side will benefit from this week’s mauling at the hands of Middlesbrough.

The League One Reds were thumped 4-0 by the Championship Teesiders at Oakwell on Wednesday night.

But Johnson took plenty of positives despite the club’s first pre-season loss.

“Even though we lost I was well-pleased with the game, we got the lessons that we needed,” reflected Johnson.

“I wasn’t pleased with the defeat but it was against opponents who are going to be a really top side in the Championship.

“We didn’t really have the belief in ourselves to go and create some better chances when we got in good positions in the first half, but we can build on that.

“Generally though I was delighted with the match as an exercise and I’d say to the fans ‘don’t panic because we’ve got some excellent players still to come in’ [join the club].”

Next up for the Reds is a final pre-season clash with Huddersfield Town at Oakwell tomorrow, Yorkshire Day, 3pm kick-off.

That will be the last chance Johnson gets to put his players through their paces

“I’ll be expecting to put a slightly different team out against Huddersfield and I’ll be expecting us to perform that slightly bit better,” stressed Johnson.

“It’s another game I’m really looking forward too. Now we’ve got to get serious.

“Everything now is gearing towards the start of the season and the big game [against Chesterfield] next Saturday.

“We’ve got a couple of players coming back from injury, which is good.

“And if we can make one new signing, maybe two, then all of a sudden I’ve got 18-20 players to pick from. It’s a different situation.”

Meanwhile, Johnson admits he is still unsure about the future of teenage star Mason Holgate, who has recently been training with Manchester United with a view to a £1m move.

“Mason has come back,” revealed Johnson. “He’s not left the club and, like any other player, we’ll use him as and when we see fit.

“It’s important Mason gets minutes under his belt because he is part of our squad and we’re paying for him.

“Hopefully he’ll change his mind about leaving. He was never ostracised despite the interest, we’ve always given that duty of care with the player.

“Time will tell with Mason, I don’t know whether anyone will put an offer in for him.”