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Tonge: "Character can never be questioned."

17 April 2019

Dale Tonge insists that the character within the camp was never in doubt as Barnsley bounced back from their first defeat since December with a commanding 4-2 victory over Fleetwood Town.

The Reds are now looking to follow that up with another win at Oakwell when Shrewsbury Town visit on Good Friday and further enhance their promotion push from Sky Bet League One.

“Something that can never be questioned about this group is their togetherness and that was evident at the weekend,” began Tonge. “Fleetwood put us under a lot of pressure for 10 or 15 minutes and I think other teams may have folded.

“But, as a group, they got together and the response from conceding to scoring again – and doing that again after they scored their second goal – shows a lot of character within the group.

“It was a massive win – not just for confidence, but psychologically after going on such a run that a lot was made about it. The players were aware of what was being said, but it was pleasing – especially in the first half – how we played and how we dominated, and it was good to see.”

Friday’s visitors come into the game on the back of a morale-boosting victory over relegation rivals Gillingham – a result that saw Sam Ricketts’ side climb six points clear of the drop zone.

Prior to that, the Shrews had picked up a crucial 2-0 victory in their last away outing at struggling Southend United, and Tonge is under no illusion as to how tough this encounter will be.

“I think they’re on an upwards curve – anyone watching them will like the way that Sam has got them playing,” continued the Reds’ Assistant. “I think most people will agree that they’re playing a lot more pleasing football, and they’re a hell of a lot more dangerous away from home.

“They’re very quick and, how they’re playing at the minute, the counter situations from transitions is a really big threat so we understand that; we’ve watched a lot of their recent football as well as past, and it’s something that we’re hopefully ready for at the weekend.

“We’re at home; we’re expected to win the game, but we’re expected to do it in a certain way like we have most of the season. That’s something that we’re planning to do – play attractive football and hopefully get a good win.”

You can watch Dale’s press conference on iFollow Barnsley.

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