Dani Pinillos insists Barnsley are treating every game from now until the end of the season like a final as they bid to win promotion from Sky Bet League One at the first attempt.
The Reds have embarked on a ten-game unbeaten run after back-to-back losses against Sunderland and Wycombe Wanderers, and will be looking to keep this momentum going when they visit Gillingham this weekend.
“I expect a difficult game,” admitted Pinillos. “I think, now, we have 16 finals so we have all difficult games. As soon as we are focussed on our game and what the gaffer wants, I think we will have an opportunity to keep going this way and win games.
“Now we’re in the last part of the season and everyone needs points – it doesn’t matter if you’re fighting to be promoted or not to be relegated. Everyone is more focussed on their game and anyone can beat you.”
Scunthorpe United were the latest team to be put to the sword by Daniel Stendel’s promotion-chasing Reds, who brushed aside one of the division’s form sides with consummate ease at Oakwell on Saturday.
Barnsley have won eight of their last ten encounters with the Gills and will be confident of picking up another three points at Priestfield this weekend.
However, Pinillos is adamant that his side will be solely focussed on themselves and not worrying about results elsewhere across the country.
“We’re in the top two because we’ve been playing really well in the last few games – winning points in all the games – and I think it was really important for us,” continued the Reds’ full-back. “We don’t need to think about the pressure; we will get results if we’re focussed on the games and thinking game by game – not of the other teams.
“Normally, when you finish the game, the first thing you do when you’re in the changing room is check your phone and look at the results. It’s good if they [promotion rivals] lose or draw, but we’re in the top two now and we’re winning games and playing well.
“Of course, if they lose it’s much better for us but we’re focussing on our 16 games, playing like we’re playing and have respect for the other teams because, if you don’t, anyone can beat you in this league.
“Everyone looks at the league table and anyone who says they don’t are lying. All the teams are close at the top, so if we draw a game and they win we could be third or fourth. So 16 games – 16 finals – is going to be hard, but we’re a good enough team to do it.”
You can watch Dani’s full press conference on iFollow Barnsley.