Behind Enemy Lines: Barnsley

MILLWALL are bidding to equal a club record for consecutive away wins when they head to Oakwell on Saturday for the earlier 1pm kick-off.

The Lions will also want to keep up their unlikely play-off challenge and hope other results go their way.

The sides have already met twice this season, both times at The Den. Barnsley took three points in the league with a 3-1 win, before Millwall defeated the Tykes 4-1 in the third round of the FA Cup in January.

Barnsley have been something of a bogey team for the Lions in recent years, having won the last four league and play-off games between the clubs.

Lucas Ball spoke to Barnsley fan Lucy Thorpe this week.

Twitter: @LucyDawn89

Why do you support Barnsley?

As a girl who grew up in Barnsley it was only right to give my support to the local team. I firmly believe that really you should support the local team.

Not everyone agrees with this and not everyone follows this. It's even more important to me that I support Barnsley having grown up here as I have lots of family members that support Sheffield Wednesday, although they're from Hillsborough.

What's been your favourite season following Barnsley?

Looking back, I think my best season as a Barnsley fan has to be 2015-16. It was my first as a season ticket holder and it holds special memories.

To travel to Wembley twice and to see your team win on both occasions [in the JPT and League One play-off final] is absolutely incredible. Especially when you consider the fact that we were rock bottom before Christmas of that season, before we made an amazing comeback.

Sorry Millwall fans, by the way!

Do you expect the Tykes to stay up?

I'm very optimistic when it comes to Barnsley. Even when we sit through poor games, I'm told that my positivity is a great attitude to have.

Our 'attempts' to get points on the board haven't been particularly flattering, but I think if we press on, as we've shown we can do, in these last few games and not relax when we're on a 1-0 lead, we certainly have the potential to avoid relegation.

We need to give 90 minutes of graft in all our remaining games.

What do you make of your new manager after six games?

Jose Morais hasn't got off to a bad start. His first win came in only his second game in charge.

I definitely thought that this would bring the turn of events we needed, but recently Morais has been making changes more frequently, some of them nonsensical.

This has caused some inconsistencies and has in places cost us games. The Hull game recently is an example of this. Morais needs to figure out his strongest XI now and run with it, although after Tuesday night – a 1-1 draw at home to Norwich – I'd say he got pretty close to it.

Which Barnsley players will Millwall need to keep an eye on this weekend?

It's hard to pick out Barnsley's real danger men – the team has changed again and again.

I guess one to pick out is our loan starlet, Oli McBurnie. He's a key player in our match-day squad with him being a goalscorer. He's scored five goals in his last five games and has added some much-needed flair to Barnsley's game. McBurnie will definitely be testing the Millwall defence.

I think Kieffer Moore will be another one to watch. His height is a great addition to the field of play and he doesn't particularly seem afraid to use that to his advantage. He plays in a front three with McBurnie and Mamadou Thiam and is a threat going forward.

Adam Jackson and Liam Lindsay in defence are a great pairing, if they're put together, and will certainly do well to deal with any threat coming forward.

Who will Barnsley be wary of in the Lions side?

After Millwall gave us a thumping in the FA Cup, perhaps the whole team could be seen as a threat, though Barnsley going down to 10 men made it easy to tear through and score.

I definitely think that both Lee Gregory and Steve Morison will pose a threat to our back four. If we're not on it, it could be bad news. Barnsley need to remember to not back down if Millwall score first.

What's your predicted starting XI and formation?



Yiadom Jackson Lindsay Fryers

Gardner Potts Mallan

Thiam Moore McBurnie

Finally, a score prediction?

Ever the optimist, I'm predicting a win for Barnsley and I'm saying 2-1. It's a win that we need to press on in our fight for survival!

Graphic: @ShedCreative