Barnsley U23s face Leeds United in their final Professional Development League game of 2018 on Monday afternoon.
The young Reds travel to Thorp Arch in decent form having taken four points from their last two outings against Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United.
U23s coach Martin Devaney is keen for his side to continue their progression and development when they make the short trip across Yorkshire.
“It will be a very tough encounter,” said Devaney. “I’d probably say Leeds and Burnley are the best teams we’ve played this year. They’ve got big squads and very good players – they’ve spent a lot of money on their under 23s, you’re coming across lads that have been brought in for six figures so it’s going to be a very competitive game.”
Leeds come into this game off the back of a 6-3 victory over Burnley on Tuesday – a result that saw the Whites climb to the summit.
Patrick Bamford netted a hat-trick for Carlos Corberan’s side, while Lewis Baker, Izzy Brown and Jack Clarke were also amongst the goals.
“They’re top of the league, so we know how tough it’s going to be,” continued Devaney. “Looking at the two previous games, they’ve fielded very experienced players – first team players – so we’ll have to wait and see. But we’ll be organised and approach it like any other game, which is to go and win.”
The last meeting between the two sides saw Leeds run out 4-1 winners at the Oakwell Training Complex back in October.
It was a harsh result for Barnsley, who had dominated for much of the first half but were unable to turn chances into goals before the Whites snatched an equaliser on the stroke of half-time.
That swung the pendulum firmly in United’s favour and they showed their ruthless touch after the interval, but there were plenty of positives to take from a spirited performance.
“We want to build on that 45 minutes against Leeds which gave us a lot of confidence – we should have really gone in 2-0 up but we missed a penalty and gave away a silly goal,” admitted the U23s coach. “If we can put in a similar performance and cut out mistakes then I think we’ll do well.”
You can find out how our U23s fare by attending the game at Thorp Arch training ground, kick-off at 1pm. Alternatively, you can follow the action on our official Academy Twitter account: @AcademyBFC.