BARNSLEY will use their 98-year wait for an away victory against Coventry City as ‘fuel’ when they visit the CBS Arena from 3pm tomorrow, says Poya Asbaghi.
The Reds are last in the Championship, six points off safety, but ended a 13-match winless league run, and six straight defeats, with a 1-0 home success over QPR on Saturday.
Coventry are 12th in the table, five points off the play-offs.
The Reds have not won an away game against Coventry since a 3-2 success at Highfield Road in August 1923.
Since then, in 26 visits, they have drawn seven and lost 19.
Their last 14 visits since 1961 have brought two points, a 1-1 draw in 2009 when the hosts levelled from a controversial late penalty then a 2-2 draw in 2014 when Coventry were groundsharing at Northampton Town.
Barnsley were beaten 2-0 at St Andrew’s during their charge into the play-offs last April – ending a club record six-game winning run away – after losing their last game at the Ricoh 1-0 in League One in September 2018 under Daniel Stendel.
Asbaghi told the Chronicle: “I know it’s an away game Barnsley haven’t won since 1923. We’re going to use that as fuel to do something this club hasn’t done in a long time.
“When somebody presents that data to us, it gives more courage than it takes something away. We want to do something we haven’t done for a long time and that will give us more confidence.
“We will also use the confidence we built against QPR.”
The Sky Blues were in the top six for much of the first half of the season but have won three of their last 13 games.
They won 3-2 at Barnsley’s relegation rivals Reading on Saturday – helping the Reds cut the gap to safety – then lost 2-0 at Cardiff City on Tuesday.
They won their first six home league games of the season – having returned to the CBS Arena, formerly the Ricoh, after groundsharing with Birmingham City for two years – but have won just two of their last nine there, losing four.
They have netted just four goals in their last six home matches.
The Sky Blues are managed by Mark Robins who was in charge of Barnsley from 2009 to 2011.
Coventry are one of three teams to have lost to Barnsley in the Championship this season. The Reds won their first home game of the season 1-0 in August thanks to a Dominik Frieser goal and Brad Collins’ injury-time penalty save.
A win tomorrow would be their first double of the season.
Asbaghi said: “We have not won many games but one was against Coventry.
“Speaking to the players and staff who were there, we won but maybe we were a little bit fortunate and the performance was not like we want it to look on Saturday. The result last time gives us confidence that we can beat them and, if we have a better performance, we have a good chance of another win.
“We have respect for Coventry, they have had the most shots in the league on the counter-attack so we have to look out for that. But, looking at their previous games, there are weaknesses in their way of defending that I hope we can exploit.”
Coventry’s top-scorer is Asbaghi’s fellow Swede Viktor Gyokeres who has 12 goals this season but missed a penalty at Oakwell. The Reds boss said: “He has played against teams I have coached.
“He is a really promising striker and has played for the national team.
“He is really mobile and always on the run. He is one of the players we know we have to look out for to have a good game.”