The Reds – who have no new injury concerns – lost 4-0 at Stoke City on Saturday at the start of a week of three games against fellow strugglers. They are third-bottom, with Luton second-bottom and Wigan Athletic – who visit Oakwell on Saturday – due to drop to last place with a 12-point deduction.
Asked if Barnsley had to win the 6pm game Kenilworth Road, head coach Gerhard Struber told the Chronicle: “We have to fight and pick up points until the last game. Tomorrow it is a big game and maybe it is a key game. But we have to pick up points in all the games. This is our job and our big goal.
“We don’t forget that, in the last four games, we had three clean sheets and very good performances then a crash game in Stoke. I hope everyone is ready for a big fight tomorrow. After that, you can ask me about my feeling for the rest of the season.”
Barnsley produced one of their worst performances of the season on Saturday, but fellow strugglers Luton, Hull, Wigan, Charlton and Middlesbrough also lost so the gap to safety is four points. Struber: “The whole game was very difficult for everyone, especially with the early goals. We spoke yesterday about the game and we are looking forward. It is not always necessary to speak more about the last game. We know what we have to do better in this next game. I am 100 per cent convinced that we will make a very good performance.
“We have to handle and manage this situation. It is a relegation fight. There is always pressure. Every game is a final. After games when we make mistakes, we have to be critical with ourselves – the same for the staff and the players. The other results were a little helpful for us, but our performances are our focus.”
Luton, who changed manager in lockdown with Nathan Jones replacing Graeme Jones, were unbeaten in three games after the re-start before a 5-0 home defeat to Reading on Saturday. Struber said: “They play many shapes and many systems but I think they prefer the diamond. This is the system that the manager likes. But it is not so important to me what Luton think and do, it is important that we have a big attitude and high aggression on the field. We must be unstoppable tomorrow.”
Full-back Jordan Williams said: “It was horrible. But it was just mistakes. We were 2-0 behind after ten minutes. It was very tough to come on. They sat back and we tried to break them down. It is one-off, it’s the first game we have conceded in since the break. We just need to put things right at Luton which is a massive game.
“We will attack them and go for the three points. We need to have the right mind set and be clear headed. If it doesn’t go right on Tuesday there are still four more games. Anyone can beat anyone.
“We have a number of points in our heads which we need to get to and we are well on our way to achieving that. I think we would have taken seven points from the first four games. Saturday wasn’t good enough but we have put that behind us now.”
The Reds are travelling to a hotel in Northampton today. They have not trained since Saturday, with Struber adding: “It is only a resting situation and tactical preparation for Luton. It is not the time for big impact training. It is only time for recovery and to bring the right mindset in to the brains of the boys. We have a good feeling for the game.”