Barnsley caretaker boss Paul Heckingbottom has urged his side not to take their foot off the gas ahead of tonight’s crucial clash with Coventry.
The Reds recorded their ninth win in 11 games with a terrific comeback against Crewe on Saturday to leave them on the brink of a play-off place.
The Sky Blues are sixth in League One, just three points ahead of Heckingbottom’s men in ninth.
Victory would take the Reds level on points with Tony Mowbray’s side, but Heckingbottom has warned against complacency now that his charges are featuring in the classier section of the table.
“As soon as they take their foot off the gas and think we’re trying to get in the play-offs it’s a no-no,” he stressed.
“It’s hard work that’s got them all these point and it will be hard work that keeps winning games.
“The law of probability says you’re not going to keep winning game after game, it’s hard to do. But we can’t relax; the skill and the hard bit is keeping that run going now we’re near the top and it’s totally different.
“It would be easy to relax and think the job was done but that’s the difficulty. We should take the belief that we can compete with whoever in this league. We know we’re not going to win every game but we can try to.”
Coventry come to Oakwell having won just twice in 2016 after a strong start to the season.
They were beaten 2-1 at home to relegation-threatened Fleetwood on Saturday, and Heckingbottom reckons the 4-3 reverse his side suffered earlier in the season is indicative of the Sky Blues’ topsy-turvy form this campaign.
“Their season could be summed up from our game against them,” he added. “They set off on fire against us and looked the best team we’d played at that point.
“If you speak to them about their season they’ll probably say they’ve not won as many games as they should.
“When they play well they’re very very good, but they’ve not been able to do it every single game and that’s where they’ve had a few dodgy results.”
Barnsley’s exciting new teenage talent Harry Chapman could be in line for his home debut after the Middlesbrough loanee impressed off the bench at the weekend, whilst Josh Scowen continues to battle with Josh Brownhill for a starting spot in central midfield.