Barnsley: Wembley dream for Reds boss Johnson

Dan Crowley
Dan Crowley

Barnsley boss Lee Johnson is dreaming of a day out at Wembley as he turns his attention to the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tonight.

The Reds will be bidding to dispel the demons of a last-gasp derby defeat to Doncaster at the weekend as they do battle with Bradford this evening.

This is their second Yorkshire derby in the space of three days, with pride as well as a place in the northern area quarter-final at stake.

Johnson is keen to progress and take one step closer to an appearance at the home of football.

“I think it’s a good competition,” he said. “We want to do well in it, we’re a big club in the division and it would be amazing to give the fans a trip to Wembley.

“You want to win games and winning games breeds confidence. This is an opportunity for the players to get the winning mindset back after Saturday’s league game.

“We shouldn’t have our confidence knocked too much because we performed pretty well.”

Barnsley’s free-flowing style creates an intriguing contrast with Bradford’s more physical, direct approach.

Johnson is keen to get his game plan spot-on and take the game to the hosts from the first whistle.

“We have to impose our game on them and play our football,” he declared. “We have to move the ball quickly and effectively.

“When we get into areas to exploit the opposition and be creative we must have those creative players at the top of their game.

“If we do that well we’ll win the game, and if not, they’ll impose their game on us.”

The Reds are without a number of first-team players for the trip to Valley Parade, with international duty and injury forcing changes.

Dan Crowley (England U19s), Simeon Jackson (Canada) and Conor Wilkinson (Ireland U21) have all been called up by their countries, whilst the medical staff are also monitoring some minor injuries within the squad.

“We are depleted for a number of reasons,” Johnson added. “We have a number of knocks that we need to rest or be careful with.

“But it gives the opportunity for one of our younger players to come in either off the bench or start, and see how they do.”