POYA Asbaghi admits Barnsley must significantly improve their away record, the worst in the EFL, to have any chance of survival this season – starting tomorrow at Millwall which he grew up knowing about as a difficult ground to visit.
The Lions are tenth, six points off the play-off places while the Reds are 22nd, eight points from safety.
Barnsley have collected just seven points from 19 away league games this season, the fewest in the EFL, while no club have won fewer games or scored fewer goals away than the Reds’ tallies of one and 12.
They have lost 14 of their last 16 on the road in all competitions.
Asbgahi told the Chronicle: “We will definitely need some aways wins to stay up.
“I have high hopes from the home games, where we have done well.
“But we know that we are dependent on winning more away games.
“We won at Hull which shows we can do it but we need to do it more frequently, hopefully starting on Saturday.”
Millwall were unbeaten in eight, with six wins, and had not conceded in five before a 2-0 loss at Stoke ahead of the international break.
They then drew 2-2 at high-flying Luton Town on Saturday, conceding a late leveller, and lost 1-0 at home to Swansea City on Tuesday.
That ended a seven-game unbeaten home run, with five wins, while they had kept clean sheets in the previous four.
Millwall have the third best home defensive record and have let in just two goals in their last eight games there.
Only the bottom five have scored fewer than their 41 goals this season while they have the fifth best defensive record with 39 goals conceded.
Asbaghi said: “Even growing up in Sweden, you hear about Millwall away because of the hostility and the passionate fans.
“We have talked about it and it’s about us being able to handle that atmosphere, focus on the right things and get a good result because we need it.
“Millwall are a solid unit, they work hard, don’t concede many goals and have skilled attacking players like Jed Wallace.
“They are good from counter-attacks especially when they are allowed to counter from deep.
“We want to create a lot of chances but we have to be smart in attack, and don’t invite them to counter too much.”
Should he play, this game will be Carlton Morris’ 50th for the Reds.
Tom Bradshaw, who scored 21 goals in 93 Reds games including a brace in a 3-1 win at Millwall before the Lions bought him in 2018, has eight goals in 18 league appearances this season.
Connor Mahoney, who had a loan spell at Barnsley from Bournemouth in 2018, has started just once this season, coming off the bench seven times. He has not been in the squad this week.
Goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski, who has played every league game this season for Millwall, played two games on loan to Barnsley in 2009.
Barnsley have won seven of their last 13 league games at Millwall, with a run of three straight wins before last season’s 1-1 draw under Adam Murray.
The Lions won 1-0 at Oakwell on October 2 this season, with Murray Wallace netting an 89th-minute winner.
After the trip to London tomorrow, Barnsley make another long journey for their Good Friday game at mid-table Swansea City.
They then host another match against one of the other sides in the bottom four when Peterborough United travel to Oakwell on Easter Monday, April 18. The Posh are currently last, two points behind the Reds.
The Reds travel to promotion-chasing Huddersfield Town for a local derby on April 22.
They complete the campaign with games against sides consigned to mid-table as Blackpool arrive on Tuesday, April 26 and Preston the following Saturday, before the Reds visit West Bromwich Albion on May 7.