Assistant boss Chris Hutchings has warned Barnsley risk getting their “butts kicked” if they don’t apply themselves against strugglers Port Vale tomorrow.
The misfiring Valiants have lost their last six matches and yesterday saw long-serving manager Micky Adams resign.
But Hutchings has been involved in football long enough to realise that this weekend’s opponents could be a wounded animal with a point to prove.
“They’ve lost six games in a row, but there are no ‘gimmes’ in this league,” stressed Hutchings.
“If we don’t apply ourselves properly we’ll get our butts kicked.
“We’ve got to make sure we’re focused and go down there with the right application to get the right result.
“We want to be nice and tight, not give anything away, and then come away with the three points.
“Micky’s done a great job there over the years with tight resources.
“Has he got a little bit fed up or has he not been given the finances to get players in?
“Or is it the results they’ve had of late? Who knows what’s happened.
“There are a lot of factors that go into a manager leaving, but Micky will bounce back.
“He might just think he can’t take things any further there.
“Losing their manager could work in different ways for Port Vale’s players.
“They could feel sorry for themselves or use it as a springboard to impress a potential new manager.
“Whatever they decide to do, we’ve just got to make sure we have our sleeves rolled up and be ready for anything.”
Reds boss Danny Wilson has been boosted by the return of injured trio James Bailey, Keith Treacy and Ross Turnbull to training this week, although Hutchings admits they all face late fitness tests.
“Keith Treacy and James Bailey are coming back into the mix now, so there’s plenty of options going forward,” revealed Hutchings.
“That’s what we want.”