Poya Asbaghi is expecting an ‘anxious’ game between ‘two desperate teams’ when Barnsley host Peterborough United on Monday with one or both teams potentially being relegated if they do not win.
The Reds drew 1-1 at Swansea City on Friday, with all the bottom three winning so they fell to bottom and ten points off safety.
Peterborough beat Blackburn 2-1, with two late goals, so are second-bottom, nine points from safety.
Either team could be relegated tomorrow if they lose and fourth-bottom Reading win at home to Swansea. Kick-off is 3pm.
Asbaghi told the Chronicle: “It will be two desperate teams. Nobody will give away anything for free and everyone will fight.
“There will be a lot of anxiety in the stadium but we have to be brave and focused.
“We have been good at home and we are unbeaten in a lot of games there.
“Peterborough come from a victory so they will be confident but we have to show we are the better team.”
Midfielder Claudio Gomes added: “We have to be confident and trust ourselves. I think we will win it.
“To play at home is always good because we have amazing fans.”
Barnsley are unbeaten in six at Oakwell, winning three and drawing three with equalisers after the 80th minute.
Asbaghi said: “The reason we have been better at home is not the pitch, it’s mainly because of the fans. They will be very important for us.
“We appreciate the fans who travelled half a day to go to Swansea to support us. I am really impressed with them and they deserve lot of credit.”
After the long trip to and from Wales and a gruelling game in which they had less than a quarter of possession, the Reds have three days to prepare for the Posh fixture.
Asbaghi said: “We have a short amount time and Swansea away makes you more tired than other games. We have to look at which players are fresh and make decisions off that.”
Posh have conceded the most goals in the Championship with 83 and are the joint second lowest scorers, with Barnsley the lowest.
Posh have won just two of their 21 away league games this season, losing 16 and conceding 51 goals which are both the highest in the EFL.
Their long-serving manager Darren Ferguson left in February and was replaced by former Barnsley midfielder Grant McCann who had just been sacked by Hull City.
McCann has recruited his former Oakwell club-mate Dale Tonge, who was Barnsley’s assistant coach in 2019.
McCann also already won at Oakwell this season 2-0 with Hull in November when caretaker Jo Laumann was in charge of the Reds.
Posh won 3-1 at QPR in their last game before the international break, ending a 99-day wait since December for a league win during which they took just four points from 15 games.
They have since lost 4-0 at home to Middlesbrough then drew 1-1 both at home to Luton and at Bristol City, levelling with ten men.
They then scored in the 83rd and 87th minutes at home to Blackburn Rovers who had taken the lead with ten men.
This will be the 40th meetings of the clubs, with Posh winning 17 and Barnsley 16.
The Reds have not lost or conceded against the Cambridgeshire club in the last four meetings, winning three in a row before a 0-0 draw at London Road in November. That was Asbaghi’s second match in charge, having been appointed earlier that week.