Barnsley: Martin Cranie wants end of year confidence boost

Martin Cranie
Martin Cranie

Skipper Martin Cranie has called for the misfiring Reds to get back on track away to Walsall this weekend.

The Reds have not won in their last four matches and were left frustrated having being held to a goalless draw at home to Conference side Chester at Oakwell.

But victory over the Saddlers tomorrow could see the club leapfrog their opponents – who are just one place above them in League One – and starting climb the table.

Speaking exclusively to The Star, Cranie knows the importance of a good run over the festive period, especially if the Reds want to keep their aspirations alive of challenging for promotion this season.

“A little run of games now would give us a nice bit of confidence going into the New Year,” Cranie said.

“Consistency has been the problem for us this season, we play well for a few games and then lose or draw a few as well.

“When we won three games in a row everyone was on a high, but then as soon as we lose a couple of games, or draw a couple, then everyone is down again.

“We know we need to find some consistency, but it’s still only Christmas so it’s [our progress] is still in our hands.

“If we can win a few games over Christmas and string a decent run together, then we hopefully we could be in the top six and pushing in a play-off position.

“It’s important we kick on when we get a victory and don’t let our form dip.”

The Reds will be without star striker Sam Winnall this weekend, sidelined with a hamstring injury, while centre-back Peter Ramage has a quad injury and midfielder James Bailey is struggling with a foot injury.

But Manchester City loan striker Devante Cole should return to the Reds’ ranks as the Danny Wilson’s side look for their first away win since beating Sheffield United 1-0 back on November 1.

“We do need a win, if we can get that on Saturday then hopefully we can kick on,” stressed Cranie, who missed the Reds’ last league outing through suspension.

“We’ve been frustrated with a couple of results in recent weeks, but we’ve also played well as well in spells.

“We created a lot of chances against Chester but started the game far too slowly.

“And there’s a few players who have only just come back into the team because of injuries, so it’s going to take them a little run of games to get going.

“But we know what we’re capable of and we’re looking to kick on these next few weeks.”

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