Ahead of Barnsley’s meeting with Port Vale this weekend, Reds Head Coach Lee Johnson spoke to the media about the test facing his side.
Following the 2-1 Johnstone’s Paint Trophy success against York City in midweek, Johnson admitted he slept a little easier but knows another tough test is right around the corner.
He said: “The victory makes me feel at least half the man I was before! It’s good because you get some sleep and it breeds confidence in the group and hopefully it’ll be a bright and breezy place today.
“Adam (Hammill) was a catalyst on Tuesday and we needed that passion and spark on the day and he brought that on the day. It felt like we’d just won the World Cup it was that sort of relief.”
Port Vale travel to Oakwell this Saturday in a bad run of form that has seen them win only one of their last seven games, but Johnson knows they will be another big challenge for the Reds.
Johnson added: “I view it as a tough challenge, they’re a very experienced and solid side. They’re big men and good communicators but we need to make sure we impose our game on them at home.
“Points-wise and momentum-wise it is a big game for us because we want to start a run in a positive way. Hopefully after Tuesday's win, we’ll bring a few fans back and they’ll get behind the lads for 90 minutes.”
Valiants boss Rob Page is a man that the Head Coach knows very well and is wary of how strong the side will be to face.
“Robert Page was my captain at Watford and was a good captain and a good man and he has that Championship experience as well. They’ll be looking for an improvement on their FA Cup draw with Maidenhead.”
Lee confirmed in the week that Josh Scowen has been ruled out for 10-12 weeks with a knee problem and assessed his side coming into the weekend.
“We have a few niggles, aches and sprains. Adam’s walking like the tin man and needed a few extra recovery days.
“Josh is out which is a big blow for us, Ryan Williams is still out but Marley Watkins and Michael Smith are back and we’re not in bad nick, to be fair.”
“At this moment in time we’ll stick with what we have and won’t move to replace Josh, we have players out of contract we can look at and the young players doing well underneath that.
Brad Abbott in particular is doing well. He may be ready for his chance because he’s been performing well in training but I think we still need to strengthen in some areas but have to be wise in what we do.
“I think it is needed to get balance and equilibrium in dressing room is important and it’s important that we have the right blend.
“We’ve brought in Adam Hammill for that experience but more than anything, I think it has to be someone vocal on the pitch and in the dressing room.”
Simeon Jackson impressed on Tuesday for the Reds but has not been in the picture in recent games and Johnson gave his reasoning as to why.
“Simeon has been unlucky because we’ve made some decent name signings and they’ve been ahead of him in the pecking order.
“He has been consistent in training and there’s no-one at the club with a better goalscoring record but he does have to get back to that level but in the first half on Tuesday, he and Ivan Toney looked a real threat.”