Joseph Laumann is looking forward to tonight’s basement battle against Derby County and knows this week’s games could be vital for Barnsley’s season.

The second-bottom Reds have lost their last seven matches and are winless in 13 while the Rams are bottom due to a 12-point deduction but could overtake their hosts with victory in the 7.45pm kick-off.

Laumann is caretaker for tonight’s fixture and Saturday’s game with third-bottom Hull City, following the sacking of Markus Schopp at the weekend.

Laumann told the Chronicle: “For the players or managers, these are the games you like. It's an evening game under the lights, with a big crowd, what more can we ask for?

“It's two big games, they are six-point games against direct opponents in the table.

“For us, it's just to go out and win those games no matter what.

“It could be very important for the table, for momentum, for everything - it could be a big big boost.”

There were boos and negative chants towards Schopp after recent home games. Asked what he expects from the atmosphere on Wednesday, Laumann said: “I think it's going to be positive. We can come out as a group - players, fans, staff. I am hoping everyone will cheer for the boys.

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“If we aren’t together, we don't have any chance, we can't just come out of this situation without everyone. The back-up from the fans is good, it's normal when you don't get the results that some get a little mad.”

Has Laumann made changes from Schopp’s style?

“We will change a couple of bits but we don't have the time to change anything major. I will change a few things I thought was lacking in the last couple of weeks.”

Derby would be in mid-table if not for the docked points while their five-game unbeaten run ended with a 2-1 home loss to Blackburn on Saturday.

Laumann said: “They are a good team with good players, a couple of experienced players. Without the deduction they would be a lot higher so it's a quality team. They have played different formations. Last year when they came here we expected something else but it was very direct from both teams.”

Derby are managed by former England captain Wayne Rooney. Laumann said: “It's something to be against Wayne Rooney. For me, he is the best English player in history. He's still a young manager, but it's not me against him, it's us against them.”

Callum Styles could return after missing Saturday’s match with injury.