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Club News

Johnson on South Yorkshire Derby

2 April 2015

Reds Head Coach Lee Johnson caught up with the press ahead of this Saturday's South Yorkshire derby at Oakwell.

Barnsley entertain South Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United at Oakwell with both sides gunning for a Play-Off spot, and starting with team news, Johnson said, "We're looking quite good, quite strong. It's nice to see James Bree back on the training ground today, I was well pleased with that.

"He won't be back for a couple of weeks but it was nice to see him. He;s done very well today even though he was in 'non-contact' mode.

"The only problem is both goalkeepers and (Paul) Digby. Hopefully Holgate will be all right. He trained today and looked all right, so we'll have to see.

"Adam's (Davies) doing well. When we had him scanned he had a small tear which is like a week to 10 days really. He was a grade one/two which meant he was on the border of being okay. 

"It's not so much the training it's the kicking. Goalkeepers kick on average about 50 to 70 kicks a game over long distances. That's the issue really. Can he sustain 50 to 70 to 80-yard strikes?

"We've got to be careful with him. We do have to take guidance from the player as well sometimes. If he says he's all right we'll have to push him."

With the Blades five points ahead of the Reds in fifth place, Johnson insists his side are up for the South Yorkshire derby.

"The boys are ready, they're up for it," he continued. "It's a great game at the weekend. 

"Fortune favours the brave, as Del Boy said.

"We have to make sure we're one of the teams that get the couple of wins or, at least, positive results. Going into the last five, everything will be to play for.

"It's a great fixture. It's one that makes me want to put my boots back on. We go into it with no fear. We've come from nowhere, we've come off the rails.

"The players are in confident mood. Make no mistake, we're playing a very good side with a  good manager who knows the division. It will be really tough like it was against Preston and against Bristol City.

"But, we're up there on merit. We want to make sure we close the gap on them. If we can win the game it would really set us up for the last six games.

"I think it will be a tight game. Both sides have got players in their team that can produce individual brilliance.

"When you're being chased it's a different feel to when you're the chaser. Our players will be looking to claw back the points."

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