It has been a topsy-turvy year for the Reds which ends on a high following difficult times including a relegation. Here's a month-by-month review.

JANUARY

The Reds went into 2022 second-bottom of the Championship, with 14 points from 20 matches.

They were seven points from safety and Poya Asbaghi – who had replaced the sacked Markus Schopp as head coach in November – had not won any of his first six games in charge.

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They won his seventh, but after being embarrassed by League Two strugglers Barrow at Oakwell in the FA Cup third round. Despite being 2-0 down at half-time with a man sent off, Barrow came back to 2-2 then levelled twice more before Reds substitute Carlton Morris’ second goal secured a 5-4 extra-time win.

The first game of the year had been due to be at Nottingham Forest but it was called off due to Covid cases in the home squad, as were the home matches with Stoke and Blackpool after the virus reached Oakwell.

The Reds were still low on players, but unable to call games off as it was mainly due to injuries not Covid, for defeats at Birmingham and the rearranged game at Forest, where they went down 3-0 in a particularly poor showing.

Asbaghi missed that game and the 1-0 defeat at home to high-flying Bournemouth due to Covid-19.

Matty Wolfe made his full debut against the Cherries, while Remy Vita was finally included in the league team four months after signing on loan from Bayern Munich.

During the January transfer window, Toby Sibbick was sold to Hearts, with Asbaghi appearing to question his attitude, while Ben Williams moved to Cheltenham Town who were then managed by Michael Duff.

Obbi Oulare was loaned to Belgian second tier side Molenbeek for 18 months having made just two substitute appearances after his summer signing.

On transfer deadline day, the Reds loaned in attacking midfielders Amine Bassi and Domingos Quina – failing to bolster the painfully young central midfield as they just missed out on former Norwich man Tom Trybull.

The decision not to bring back Herbie Kane from his loan at Oxford United was criticised.

FEBRUARY

February started with 1-0 defeats at home to Cardiff in the league and at Huddersfield in the FA Cup.

Barnsley were poor in both games but saw injury-time levellers disallowed for Aaron Leya Iseka then Michal Helik.

They were then beaten 2-1 at Luton Town, a sixth successive loss in all competitions while Asbaghi broke a club record for the longest wait of any manager or head coach for a first league win – 11 games. Goalkeeper Brad Collins gave away a penalty for the winning goal then appeared to refuse to get on his line to face it for several minutes and Barnsley were later fined.

Asbaghi ended the wait for a win in the next match, with a 1-0 success over QPR thanks to a deflected late Quina strike.

It was a first league victory in 13 games across more than two months.

They then lost 1-0 at Coventry City, with Asbaghi bring on Jasper Moon late on only for him to gift his hometown club a last-gasp win.

But Barnsley responded with a 2-0 win at Hull, the first time fans had been present for an away victory for almost exactly two years.

They also surged into a 3-0 lead over Middlesbrough, thanks to an assist and two goals from Bassi, before hanging on for a 3-2 victory.

MARCH

Barnsley were very poor in a 2-0 loss to one of their relegation rivals Derby County which proved to be the end of their mini-revival.

They then drew 1-1 at home to Stoke and high-flying Fulham, conceding late levellers due to errors by substitutes – first Devante Cole then a combination of Josh Benson and Romal Palmer.

The Reds then defeated Bristol City 2-0 at home, thanks to their first set piece goals of the season netted by Helik and Morris. But they went into the final international break of the season with a 2-0 loss at local rivals Sheffield United.

During the break, Callum Styles made his debut for Hungary who he qualified for through his grandmother.

APRIL

The Reds had two weeks during the international break to plan for a home game against fellow strugglers Reading, who were fourth-bottom and five points clear of Barnsley thanks to a six-point deduction.

There was a blow before the game as Helik picked up a season-ending injury.

Morris put Barnsley in front after five minutes but, as was often the case under Asbaghi, they sat deeper and deeper before conceding a late

equaliser.

They were then humiliated 4-1 at Millwall and – after a creditable 1-1 draw at Swansea with Claudio Gomes scoring a first career goal – turned in another awful display in a 2-0 home loss to fellow strugglers Peterborough on Easter Monday.

Relegation was officially confirmed live on Sky in a Friday evening 2-1 Yorkshire derby loss at Huddersfield Town.

Asbaghi was sacked two days later so Martin Devaney was caretaker for a demoralising 2-0 home loss to Blackpool then a slightly better performance in a 3-1 defeat against Preston in which homegrown teenager Aiden Marsh got his first goal.

Devaney also gave debuts to teenagers Jason Sraha and Jordan Helliwell.

MAY

Barnsley’s dismal season ended with a 4-0 loss at West Bromwich Albion, with the team that finished the game resembling an under 23s side.

Morris had joined Callum Brittain and Mads Andersen in pulling out with injury.

They finished with the fewest wins, six, and points, 30, since the 1952/53 campaign which saw the shock death of manager Angus Seed and sale of Tommy Taylor. They scored their fewest home goals ever in a season, 18, and the fewest home or away in 50 years.

They finished below Derby who were deducted 21 points while the Reds only collected eight away points all season.

It was the first time they finished bottom of a league since 1965 and the first time in second tier history a club had gone from the play-offs to last the following campaign.

Barnsley released Aapo Halme, George Miller, Connor Hodgson, Daniel Jinadu and Tomas Kalinauskas, who would eventually re-sign and make his senior international debut for Lithuania.

JUNE

Michael Duff was eventually appointed Barnsley manager, having left their League One rivals Cheltenham Town after weeks of negotiations.

It was generally seen by fans as a positive development, as were the board changes weeks earlier which saw Paul Conway and Chien Lee removed.

Duff brought in Martin Paterson from Inter Miami to be assistant with his former Cheltenham team-mate Devaney staying on as first team coach.

The Reds also made their first signings, with goalkeeper Jamie Searle, midfielder Luca Connell and centre-backs Conor McCarthy and Robbie Cundy all arriving.

Captain Cauley Woodrow, who scored more than 50 goals for the club but missed half the relegation season with injury, was sold to Luton Town.

Isaac Christie-Davies and Patrick Schmidt also left.

The Reds started their pre-season games very early on June 25, winning at non-league Worksop.

Styles played in two wins for Hungary over England, 1-0 at home and 4-0 away.

JULY

Morris and Brittain were sold to Luton and Blackburn respectively while Palmer and Victor Adeboyejo’s exits were confirmed after they did not sign the new contracts they were offered.

Barnsley brought in left wing-back Nicky Cadden and 31-year-old forward James Norwood – breaking their usual rule of signing players aged 25 or under – while Jack Aitchison, Herbie Kane and Luke Thomas came back into the first team fold after loans away.

Coach Jo Laumann left for Belgian club Standard Liege.

After a generally positive pre-season, the Reds were outplayed on the opening day in a 1-0 loss at Plymouth Argyle – following their longest trip of the season.

After that, Duff – who said he was shocked by the performance – abandoned his preferred 3-5-2 system and used a 3-4-3 formation for the next 20 games.

AUGUST

This was a gruelling month with eight games while the transfer window was still open.

Slobodan Tedic joined on August 4 in what Duff said was a development loan from Manchester City, then there was a wait of nearly four weeks until Josh Martin arrived on loan from Norwich.

The Reds beat Duff’s former club Cheltenham 1-0 at home thanks to a Thomas goal then Benson netted for the first time in Barnsley colours for a last-minute EFL Cup win at Championship club Middlesbrough.

A narrow loss at Derby County was followed by a comfortable 3-0 home win over Bristol Rovers, thanks to goals by Cole, Jordan Williams and Benson.

But the Reds were then stunned by the same scoreline by Wycombe – the first League One loss at Oakwell since 2016.

They gave Premier League Leeds a scare in the EFL Cup, with Styles missing a penalty to equalise in a 3-1 loss. But Styles did net, along with Aitchison, as the Reds came from behind twice to draw 2-2 at high-flying Ipswich. They began their EFL Cup campaign with a 3-0 home loss to Lincoln in which Norwood was sent off after 23 minutes.

SEPTEMBER

September 1 was deadline day in the summer window, with plenty of drama at Oakwell.

Helik and Styles finally left after speculation all summer. Helik – who had not played due to injury – was sold to Huddersfield and Styles, who played the first eight games but struggled for form, was loaned to Millwall after signing a new contract at Oakwell. Clarke Oduor was loaned to Hartlepool.

Duff and the supporters had expressed a desire for more strikers to arrive but none came in, with one at Oakwell on deadline day but the deal was not completed in time. They brought in defender Tom Edwards on loan from Stoke and signed midfielder Adam Phillips permanently from Burnley.

A deal to bring in left wing-back Ziyad Larkeche on loan from Fulham was ratified more than a week later.

Iseka, who had not been involved under Duff who questioned his workrate, was loaned out to Adanaspor in the Turkish second tier.

On the pitch, Barnsley enjoyed an excellent month. It began with a 2-0 derby victory at Sheffield Wednesday in which the Reds produced a superb away performance.

Their home match with Portsmouth was called off due to the Queen’s death then they were held 1-1 at home to Port Vale who netted a late leveller to cancel out Kitching’s first Reds goal.

They won 3-0 at Cambridge despite a head injury to Collins – which meant third choice goalkeeper Searle made his professional debut – and Kitching’s red card. Cundy scored against his old club.

Barnsley beat Newcastle under 21s 2-0 in the Trophy – with youngster Jack Butterfill and Larkeche getting their first career goals – then won 3-1 over Charlton to finish the month with four wins and a draw. McCarthy suffered a serious knee injury against Charlton which ruled him out for the season.

Strikers Cole and Norwood each netted in the wins over Wednesday, Cambridge and Charlton.

OCTOBER

Barnsley moved up to fifth after Aitchison headed in a last-minute winner at Fleetwood Town, but they would collect just a point and score no goals in the next four league matches.

The bad run started after a broken leg suffered by Thomas – who had been influential in their pressing and attacking – after he slid in on the training ground to score a goal but his studs got trapped.

They were stunned 2-0 at home to managerless Exeter then gained a creditable 0-0 draw at Bolton. But they were defeated 1-0 at Morecambe, the only side in English professional football who had not won at home – with the Reds missing out on equalling a club record for five straight away league clean sheets.

After a 1-0 home loss to Lincoln, in which Barnsley continued to struggle badly in attack, they decided to change to a 3-5-2 and were much-improved in a 2-0 win over lowly Forest Green.

The other victory of October was a 4-2 success at Doncaster Rovers in the EFL Trophy. The youngest 11 in the club’s history qualified for the knock-outs and were 4-0 up at half-time, the first time Barnsley had done that since 1950.

There were two goals each for Martin and Fabio Jalo, then 16, who became the club’s second youngest ever goal-scorer and would then make his first league appearances that month.

NOVEMBER

Barnsley won 2-1 at Bolton in the FA Cup, with Phillips scoring a stunning first goal for the club.

He also netted the only goal at Shrewsbury in the league a week later.

The only other league match that month was a 3-1 win at home to MK Dons, with the goals coming from Williams, Phillips and Kane with his first for the club. That result put the Reds in the play-off places.

They then lost 2-1 at Port Vale to go out of the EFL Trophy but won 3-0 at home to Crewe Alexandra in the FA Cup.

DECEMBER

The Reds won 2-1 at fellow top six side Peterborough United, with long-range goals by Connell and Phillips. After a game at Oxford United was called off due to a frozen pitch, they won 2-0 at home to Burton Albion with a Cole brace. They then drew 1-1 at Accrington Stanley on Boxing Day, missing out on a sixth straight league victory.

They completed the year with a 2-1 win at home to Fleetwood Town which left them fourth.