Barnsley home form ‘critical’

Devant Cole may make  his home debut against Gillingham.
Devant Cole may make his home debut against Gillingham.

Barnsley manager Danny Wilson has stressed the club’s home form will be critical to their chances of success in League One.

The Reds have lost both their home fixtures so far this season, albeit one of those was in the first round of the Capital One Cup.

But four points from possible six in their last two league outings – both away from home – sees the Reds go into tomorrow’s clash with Gillingham in confident mood.

“Our home form is going to be pivotal to us – and I’ll keep saying that throughout the season,” said Wilson.

“We want to have a run a of results at home that gives us the confidence to believe we are unbeatable at home.

“We have to make sure if we are going to be successful our home form will be critical to us.

“As a team we’re getting a better understanding of each other. Overall it’s about the synergy of the team as a whole and hopefully that gets stronger as we go along.”

Gillingham, under manager Peter Taylor, are unbeaten in their last three outings and are two places above the Reds in the table.

The Gills drew 2-2 at home to Swindon Town on Tuesday. They last played at Oakwell back in January 2006 when the Reds won 1-0.

In fact Barnsley are unbeaten in their last ten home matches with the Gills, with their opponents having last beaten them away a day shy of 46 years ago.

But Wilson, who could hand new Manchester City loan signing Devante Cole his home debut, is taking nothing for granted.

“We’re coming up against a team who have been improving since the first game,” added Wilson.

“It’s thick and fast at the moment with a lot of games, but teams are settling down and finding their feet and what’s required of them.

“Gillingham are very capable of going anywhere in this league and getting a result, so we have to be mindful and respectful of them.”

Midfielders James Bailey and Keith Treacy both played in Tuesday night’s 2-2 away draw with Coventry City despite niggling groin injuries.

But Wilson has admitted he might rest both players this weekend.

“They [Bailey and Treacy] both came through the game on Tuesday, but I’m not too sure if we’ll see them on Saturday,” he revealed. “We’ll have to wait and see about that.”

Goalkeeper Ross Turnbull is close to a return from a back injury, while winger Dale Jennings – who has been suspended for three matches because of the red card he picked up on the opening day of the season – is available for selection.