Barnsley: Winnall ready for final play-off push

Sam Winnall celebrates with the Johnstone's Paint Trophy and a bottle of bubbly
Sam Winnall celebrates with the Johnstone's Paint Trophy and a bottle of bubbly

Star striker Sam Winnall says Barnsley are buzzing to return to action as they turn their focus back to the League One play-off push against Chesterfield tomorrow.

The Reds hotshot, who has bagged 18 goals this season, recovered from injury to play his part in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy triumph at Wembley on Sunday.

And after such a memorable day out in front of more than 25,000 supporters, Winnall reckons the positive mood amongst the squad is the best he has ever experienced.

“It’s been a fantastic week,” said the 25-year-old. “Spirit in the camp is extremely high, higher than I’ve ever seen it.

“You’re going to be buzzing after such a great day out; not just for us as players but the staff, the fans, and friends and family.

“I got the feeling of lifting the trophy after walking up the steps and that was pretty special.

“It was great walking round the pitch and presenting the trophy to all the fans and having pictures. It was just a really great day and something that will live long in the memory.

“We’ve enjoyed the week, got it out of our system, and now we’re focusing on Chesterfield.”

After tasting success at the national stadium the Reds have their sights set on another trip to the capital for the play-off final in May.

Paul Heckingbottom’s men are four points outside the top six with a game in hand. And with seven games still to play, Winnall is desperate to use the momentum and winning mentality to propel Barnsley into the play-offs and clinch a return to the Championship.

“Our focus now returns to getting the result on Saturday, which will hopefully stand us in good stead to have another day at Wembley,” he added. “It’s the motivation of knowing we could do it all again in May and that’s all we’re focusing on now.

“I’ve tasted what it’s like to win at Wembley and I just want to do it again as soon as possible.”

Winnall and his team-mates enjoyed a hero’s return to the town yesterday evening as they paraded the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy from the balcony at Barnsley Town Hall.

Supporters flocked to see the stars show off their silverware, and a bumper crowd is expected at Oakwell tomorrow to watch the Reds take on North Derbyshire neighbours Chesterfield.