Fletcher’s out to be play-off hero for Reds

Reds striker Ashley Fletcher
Reds striker Ashley Fletcher

Barnsley striker Ashley Fletcher is desperate to stay on the goal trail in Sunday’s crunch clash with Wigan.

The 20-year-old Manchester United loanee bagged a brace in the Reds’ last outing against Colchester on Saturday. Caretaker boss Paul Heckingbottom called it Fletcher’s most consistent performance so far.

And the powerful forward has his sights set on scoring goal which secures Barnsley’s place in the play-offs: “It would be massive,” he admitted.

“The fans have been great ever since I came and it would mean a lot to the town as well to get back into the play-offs, so it [scoring] is something I’ll be looking to do.

“They’re a really good side and they’re top of the league for a reason. It’s going to be a tough game but hopefully we’ll do the job.

“We’ve just got to focus on ourselves. Paul Heckingbottom said that from day one and things will take care of themselves. If we go to Wigan and win we’d like to think we’re in the play-offs. We’re still in sixth place and it’s still in our hands so we’ll go to Wigan and look to win the game.”

Fletcher arrived at the club on loan in January and has gone on to feature heavily in their terrific turnaround from the bottom to the top end of the table.

He has netted five times in 11 league starts, and scored two crucial goals in the successful Johnstone’s Paint Trophy campaign.

And the former Bolton Wanderers youngster says he always had faith in the ability of the squad and the staff to change their fortunes.

Fletcher added: “Even before I came I saw a few of the games and you could see what was about to come. The talent that the players have here is very high and I had no issues regarding the team turning it round. If we do get in the play-offs it would be remarkable and a huge change.

“A lot of teams didn’t really expect us to be anywhere near, but the talent that’s in the team I think we should be near the top. We’ll go into Sunday full of confidence and hopefully get the job done.”

Fletcher is expected to keep his place up front alongside top scorer Sam Winnall on Sunday, with Ivan Toney and Shaun Tuton on the bench, and Marley Watkins still sidelined through injury.