Andreas Winkler believes both Barnsley and Bradford City will head in to this weekend’s Yorkshire derby full of confidence following recent results.
The Reds, unbeaten in their last five league outings, will be looking to claim a third victory over David Hopkin’s side this season having won the reverse fixture back in August and the Checkatrade Trophy encounter in November.
However, after a tough start to the campaign, the Bantams have embarked on a terrific run of form and have discovered the Midas touch with 22 goals in eight outings since the start of December.
“They have a lot more organisation in their squad; they haven’t changed their formation but they’re better organised and have a clear pattern,” asserted Winkler. “With every win and every point they get, their self-confidence rises. They know how to defend and attack, and their manager is doing a really top job so this will be a tough match on Saturday.”
Despite exiting the Emirates FA Cup in agonizing fashion at Burnley last weekend, Barnsley can take confidence from the performance they put in against their Premier League counterparts.
The Clarets required a last-gasp penalty to seal safe passage to the fourth round, which now leaves the Reds clear to focus solely on promotion from Sky Bet League One.
There is an air of optimism around the training ground following a run of impressive displays against teams at the top of the table – and, more recently, at Turf Moor – and Winkler is keen for his side to continue in this upward trajectory.
“First of all, we have to take this momentum and not think about if the opponent is at the top or the bottom of the league because, if you look at the past, we struggled against these teams,” insisted the Reds Assistant.
“What I’ve learnt in the last month is that you can’t beat teams just like that. If you look at Bradford, they’re on a winning run and have lots of confidence. We beat them twice now, so it will be a battle and they’ll want to show us that they’re better than the results against us.
“Confidence is high here, so that’s why we’re looking forward to it and we’ll be going for a win. But you’ve always got to have respect for the opponent – especially Bradford; it’s a Yorkshire derby and I know what the supporters expect, so we need to be aware of that and be focussed.
“Our priority is Saturday and to go for a win, to be well organised and take our game to them.”
You can watch Andreas’ full press conference on iFollow Barnsley.