Cameron McGeehan has called bookmakers’ predictions that Barnsley will finish bottom of the Championship ‘rubbish’ and is backing the Reds to make a strong start. Daniel Stendel’s newly-promoted side are favourites to come last in the 2019/20 campaign.

Midfielder McGeehan told the Chronicle: “I think Huddersfield were relegation favourites then they went up.  “I just think all that stuff is rubbish. How can a bookmaker know who is going to be good this season? It’s irrelevant. We know what we’ve got and we know how strong we can be.If we can beat Fulham on Saturday, it will send a big statement out.” 

McGeehan began his career with Fulham before being sold to Chelsea for £80,000 as a ten-year-old, while his Reds team-mate Cauley Woodrow was with the Cottagers for eight years. McGeehan said:  “I was there when I was nine, it was my first academy, then I moved to Chelsea. Cauley was in their first team and he’s always going on about it. It’s a good club in a nice part of the country. I live near there so I have a soft spot for Fulham. It’s a great first game.

“Fulham have just come down, there won’t be much pressure on us because most people outside the club might not expect us to do much.”

After tomorrow’s match, Barnsley visit local rivals Sheffield Wednesday then the remainder of August brings home matches with fellow newly-promoted sides Luton Town and Charlton Athletics as well as trips to Birmingham and Wigan.

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Former Luton player McGeehan said: “We will know where we’re at after the first five games. We have a good mix of top teams and teams that came up with us. For sure, we need to pick some points up in those games and we will be working hard to do that. We need to start well at home and make Oakwell a fortress again. The home support can carry the ball into the net and it was one of the main reasons that we went up.

“This season is going to be a big test for me personally and the team. “It’s come round quick, we had a good pre-season and now we’re looking forward to the real stuff. Every division you go up it is a little bit better in every area.  It might take a little while to get used to the pace and intensity but that’s one of the main mantras of our game and we might surprise a few teams early on. 

“We will play exactly the same way. You see other teams go up a division then sit back and try to nick games. We won’t play like that, we will be on the front foot and attacking.”