Barnsley: Delighted Reds boss wants six of the best

Alfie Mawson faces a late fitness test ahead of the trip to Swindon Town
Alfie Mawson faces a late fitness test ahead of the trip to Swindon Town

Lee Johnson has challenged his on-song Barnsley side to make it six league wins in a row at the expense of Swindon Town this weekend.

The Reds, who rose to 13th in the League One standings with a battling 1-0 victory at Bradford City on Tuesday night, take on the Robins at the County Ground looking to continue their fine turnaround in results.

And with 19 games left in the season Johnson sees no reason why his side cannot keep climbing up the table if they can maintain their impressive form.

“It’s all to play for,” said Johnson. “We’ve got 19 games left – and a lot can happen, both ways.

“We’ve seen that already this season. But I think we’ve turned the fans that wanted total change, and I think the lads deserve that because they’ve worked hard to turn the results around.

“We’ve just got to keep going and trying and win this weekend. If we win we get even closer to the play-off places.

“We’ve kept our season alive. We’ve turned things around in the league and we’ve got a great chance to get into the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final and a chance to play at Wembley.”

The Reds hammered the Robins 4-1 at Oakwell back in September having come from a goal down to triumph in style.

And Johnson, who is without four key players this weekend, knows keeping his squad as fit as possible will be paramount to their chances of success.

Winger Adam Hammill and Lewin Nyatanga are both missing with knee injuries, while defenders Alfie Mawson and Aidy White are nursing groin injuries.

Mawson is expected to face a late fitness test ahead of the weekend, although the early prognosis is that he won’t be fit enough to play.

“We are going to have to be lucky with injuries because we have already got four or five injuries to key players for us,” reflected Johnson.

“We need to make sure we get our under-belly ready to go into the first team when we need them.

“They need to be fit enough and integrated enough in our systems of play that they can do that.”