BARNSLEY manager Jose Morais has urged his players to think, “at our house we are the boss” ahead of their meeting with Millwall on Saturday.
The former assistant coach to Jose Mourinho at Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Chelsea was appointed on February 16 after Paul Heckingbottom went to Leeds, but has seen his side win just once in six games.
Barnsley haven’t won a Championship game at Oakwell since beating Birmingham 2-0 on November 4, losing five and drawing five at home since then.
That’s in stark contrast to Millwall’s away form, with the Lions bidding to equal the club record of six consecutive league away wins on Saturday. As Millwall writer Jake Sanders pointed out on Twitter, no team in any of the top five leagues in Europe have won more away league points than Millwall in 2018.
Barnsley, however, have won the last four league fixtures between the sides.
But Morais knows his side face a battle this weekend.
“They are very strong physically and win a lot of first and second balls,” Morais told his club’s official website.
"I think we are prepared. We are aware about what we can do, but we are more aware of our possibilities about what we can do and what we have to do, and what kind of attitude we have to have during the game for us to get three points. This is our only will and expectation.
“I think in the last six games they always took points, they are successful in the way they play. We’re playing at home and have a good team, and we need to think that, at our house, we are the boss and we want to win the game.”
The only sides Barnsley have defeated in their last 23 league games are Birmingham (twice) and Sunderland. The Tykes did pick up another crucial point in their battle for survival when they drew 1-1 at home to Norwich City on Tuesday night, which lifted them a further point away from the bottom three. They are three points ahead of Birmingham.
"According to what we did in the last game, I believe that this is the minimum of the performance that we want to start with for us to get what we really want from the [Millwall] game, which is to win,” Morais said.
“I am seeing more from the team in an attacking sense. I am seeing the team creating more opportunities and more chances. I am seeing more players coming into scoring situations.
"In the last game, Mamadou Thiam [who scored in Barnsley’s 3-1 league win at The Den last September, above] had a good opportunity to score, Kieffer Moore had a good opportunity to score, and players from midfield coming into positions where they can shoot from distance with good possibilities to score.
“So things are progressing in the way that I was expecting.”
Image: Millwall FC