Michael Duff has challenged his Barnsley players to be more clinical than on Monday when they host Fleetwood Town tomorrow from 7.45pm and look for a fifth straight home win in all competitions.
Fleetwood are currently 16th in the League One table, nine points off the top six and five ahead of the bottom four.
They lost 2-1 at home to Sheffield Wednesday on Boxing Day, having taken the lead.
The Cod Army – managed by former Celtic and Scotland legend Scott Brown in his first managerial role – had lost only one in nine in all competitions before Monday’s defeat.
Only the bottom two have fewer wins than their five. Their tally of 11 draws is the most in English professional football.
Fleetwood have the fifth best away record in the division, with no side losing fewer than their two games on the road which were on the opening day at Port Vale and at Exeter in October.
Duff said: “They are a hard team to beat. They haven’t lost many. For their liking, they have probably drawn too many but they have shown they are resolute. They will feel they should have got something out of game against Sheffield Wednesday.”
This will be the first time Barnsley have played a team twice in the league this season, having won 1-0 at Highbury on October 1 thanks to Jack Aitchison’s last-minute header.
That was a fifth successive win for the Reds against the Cod Army having drawn two and lost two of the first four.
Duff said: “Both teams will have improved since the last meeting. It was early in the season and both managers were new in. Both teams have changed shape. It will be a good marker of where both teams are.
“I am expecting a hard-fought, tough game where a set play or one goal wins it.
"Fortunately for us we nicked it in the last minute in their place and I imagine they will be trying to exact some sort of revenge.”
Striker James Norwood added: “It will be difficult. Last time we played them it took us until the 93rd minute to score. We know their weaknesses and strengths and we’ll work on that. We expect them to be physical and work hard and we know they are capable of scoring goals.
“It will be a tight game but we will do our basics, which we’re really good at, and then try to show our quality.”
Barnsley’s five-match winning run ended on Monday with a 1-1 draw at Accrington. The Reds missed some good chances and conceded a disputed penalty.
Duff said: “We will have to be better than we were at Accrington. We’re at home so the onus will be on us to take the game to them. We’ve done that well in recent weeks.
"We want to keep momentum going. The lads are full of confidence hopefully, results have helped with that. We won’t rest on our laurels. Monday proved how hard it is to win a game and we didn’t quite do the finer details, but we got let down by a referee as well.
“I don’t envisage us getting as many chances against Fleetwood so we have to be more clinical. It might have to come from a set play. We had a lot of corners the other day and we’re disappointed we didn’t score from them.”
Defender Tom Edwards has missed most of December with a knee problem while Josh Benson is on his way back from a hamstring problem.
Duff said: “Tom won’t be ready. He’s not back on the grass yet. He’s probably progressing a little bit slower than we hoped. I don’t have a timescale for him.
“We thought it would only be a week to ten days but it doesn’t seem to be progressing. It’s nothing serious but he still has pain in there.
“Josh Benson is getting closer. Fleetwood will probably be too soon for him but hopefully he will be in and around the Bolton game (on Monday).”