Barnsley boss Danny Wilson is quietly confident his side can spring an upset by dumping Middlesbrough out the FA Cup.
The Reds hosts Boro in the third round today at Oakwell having been taken to a replay by Conference side Chester in the last round.
But Wilson believe it will be roles reversed this weekend as his League One side underdogs to their Championship opponents.
“It’s a massive test for us,” admitted Wilson. “But let’s hope we can cause one of the upsets of the round.
“When the draw came out [for the third round] I don’t think there was many people doing somersaults because it’s one of those ties that could go either way. Take all the factors together and I don’t think it’s a good draw for Middlesborough, so that’s something we’ve got to try and take advantage of.
“We are a little bit of an unknown entity from their point-of-view, so let’s hope we can take them by surprise.
“It’s a new year and we’d like to open up with a win. To get into the next round of the cup would be fantastic.”
Wilson will be without star striker Sam Winnall, still sidelined with a hamstring, as well, while left-back Joe Dudgeon’s loan spell has expired and he has returned to his parent club Hull City. But Wilson is hopeful of tying up some new deals with the transfer window having re-opened.
“We will have one or two things in the next week or so,” revealed Wilson. “And I’m also sure in one or two cases.
“We’re trying to do our business early in January and hopefully we’ve got a couple of things to put on the table in the next week.”
Meanwhile, Reds goalkeeper Christian Dibble has signed a new contract with the club until 2016. The 20-year-old, who is highly-rated an Oakwell and who has earnt international recognition for Wales Under-21s, also joined Nuneaton Town yesterday on loan until May 3.
Dibble spent five games with the Conference side earlier in the season and is ready to go out and get more experience before returning to try and force his way into the starting line-up.
Reflecting on his new deal, Dibble revealed: I’m delighted to sign a new deal. I’m really enjoying my time here and I feel I have developed so much in the past year.
“Working with [goalkeeping coach] Mark Crossley, Ross Turnbull and Adam Davies has really helped me in my development and I want to keep it going.”