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Tonge: "We go into every game to win."

21 February 2019

Dale Tonge insists Barnsley are fearless heading into every game as they aim to secure an immediate return to the Sky Bet Championship.

The Reds travel to Portsmouth on Saturday looking to extend their unbeaten run to 14 games and put out a statement of intent against a League One promotion rival.

“We go into every game to win – that’s genuine,” said Tonge. “Home or away we don’t have any fear of the opposition. We respect the opposition, but we believe in our squad and that our squad is good enough to beat any team.

“The game is massive; it puts down a marker and a bigger gap between us and Portsmouth, and that’s our only aim this weekend: beating Portsmouth.

“I think positivity breeds positivity – law of attraction and those sort of things – and there’s a big emphasis on the gaffer’s mentality, which is to go and win every game and hopefully we’ll get the rewards at the end of it.”

Kenny Jackett’s side were the runaway leaders not so long ago, but a dip in form has seen Pompey drop to fourth – ten points off the summit and five behind the automatic spot.

The Fratton Park outfit haven’t won in their last seven league outings – last claiming all three points against bottom of the table AFC Wimbledon on New Year’s Day.

However, Tonge is still aware of the quality that Portsmouth possess and is adamant that Barnsley will have to be at their best to secure a positive result this weekend.

“They’ve had an outstanding start in both league and cup – they’ve done really well in that,” continued the Reds’ Assistant. “Obviously, now, their games might have initially caught up with them but they’re still an outstanding team.

“They came here and, although I thought we were by far the better team on the day, they came and did a job and they’re a very professional and organised team. We’re expecting nothing less than a very organised Kenny Jackett team who are going to put us to our limits and we’ll have to perform to beat them on the day.”

As has been the norm this season, the Reds will be backed by a vociferous travelling support when they reach the south coast.

More than 2,000 Barnsley fans will be making the near-500-mile round trip to Fratton Park, and Tonge believes that the away faithful could prove to be decisive on the road once more.

“It’s been noticeable at home that they’ve not picked up the results they would want,” he continued.“We’ve got 2,000 fans going through the turnstiles, so we’ll have a lot of barcodes getting scanned and it’s going to be a great opportunity and occasion because there’ll be around 20,000 fans.

“I’ve played there myself and it’s a great atmosphere – a cauldron – and I know it’s something the boys are looking forward to.”

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

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