Gerhard Struber is aiming to secure a place in the Emirates FA Cup fourth round when Barnsley travel to Crewe Alexandra on Sunday afternoon.
The Reds, who have enjoyed a resurgence under the Austrian Head Coach since his arrival at Oakwell in November, are in decent form heading to Gresty Road against an Alex side that are flying high in the Sky Bet League Two automatic promotion places.
“We have a very interesting game on Sunday,” admitted Struber. “It’s the FA Cup and will be a very difficult game for us and now we need to recover the players’ bodies and minds.
“We will speak about the match plan against Crewe Alexandra with the players because this is an important game for us, and I hope we have the right energy because, in the last days, we have had a lot of games, so it’s important that we can create the right performance.”
Barnsley will be hoping to avoid a repeat of their third round tie in 2017, when Blackpool secured a surprise victory after a replay to claim a memorable ‘giant killing’.
The magic of the cup is what makes this competition so special for all supporters and Struber is wary of being on the end of a potential banana skin, but insists he will be preparing his players mentally for Crewe.
“In the Cup, this is always the big challenge; when you play against a smaller team, you need always a good attitude,” continued the Reds’ Head Coach. “This next game is a test for my team – what is our character, what is our mentality, what is our attitude in this game?
“This is our challenge and for me, we are the favourites, and we must show in every second of the game that we are the favourites. The most important thing is the attitude and also a very professional match style; this is what we need on this day.”
Victory on Sunday would see Barnsley reach the fourth round for the first time since 2013, when they were eliminated by eventual runners-up Manchester City at the quarter-final stage.
The lure of potentially playing one of the so-called ‘big boys’ is what helps drive the players on and Struber says the Reds are hopeful of a good cup run.
“If we win on Sunday, maybe we get a very big opponent in the next round,” said the Austrian. “This is a big motivation for me, for my players and the club and it’s our responsibility to give all that we can in the next game.”
You can watch Gerhard’s press conference on iFollow Barnsley.