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Interviews

U23s | Martin Devaney previews South Yorkshire derby

2 February 2020

Barnsley U23s are in South Yorkshire derby action on Monday afternoon when they travel to Sheffield United in the Professional Development League.

The young Reds, who suffered a 3-1 defeat in their last outing at Birmingham City, can climb to seventh above Hull City with victory over tenth placed Blades at the Proact Stadium, Chesterfield.

New addition Ethan Erhahon, who arrived on loan from St Mirren, could be in contention to start for Martin Devaney, while Ali Omar will have to wait for his official U23s debut following his dismissal in the Midlands last Friday.

And with Elliot Simoes and Romal Palmer involved in first team duties at the weekend, there is a possibility that several U18s players could feature against United.

“Training has been good this week and the players are all in a positive frame of mind heading into the game,” said Devaney. “In terms of how we approach it, there’s no uncertain terms from myself; it’s a local derby and we always want to beat Sheffield United – at any level.

“They’re a Premier League club with lots of quality at all age groups, so it’s up to our players to go and show what they’re capable of and put in a positive performance.

“We know that some recent results haven’t quite been what we would have liked, but the players have played well and we’re really pleased with the way they have been developing over the course of the season.”

Barnsley have shown their attacking prowess on a number of occasions this season, most recently in the 4-1 demolition of high-flying Burnley at the Oakwell Training Ground.

The young Reds are the fourth top scorers in the division – with only the top three of Nottingham Forest, Birmingham and the Clarets having notched more this term.

However, Devaney’s side also have the fourth worst defensive record, which has resulted in them slipping to eighth in the table.

“I’ve been really pleased with the way we have attacked this season,” continued the U23s coach. “Our transition in the final third, passing through the lines and high press has been very effective in a lot of games, and we have caused a lot of teams problems.

“If we can execute our game plan on Monday and remain solid defensively then there’s no reason why we can’t pick up a win.”

You can find out how our U23s fare by attending the South Yorkshire derby at the Proact Stadium, kick-off at 7pm.

Alternatively, you can follow updates on our official Academy Twitter account: @AcademyBFC.


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