BARNSLEY will go all-out to win all six remaining matches and hope that is enough for the top two, with Michael Duff admitting they may have to do so without a penalty given in their favour.
The Reds are fourth in League One, five points off the top two. They are six off leaders Sheffield Wednesday who have played a game more.
They lost 2-1 at Burton Albion on Friday then won 2-1 at home to Shrewsbury Town on Monday.
They now have six games left starting with trips to bottom club Forest Green Rovers tomorrow then mid-table Lincoln City on Tuesday.
Head coach Duff told the Chronicle: “The aim will be to win every game.
“Whether we have to to get in the top two or not, I don’t know. We know draws are no good. I would rather lose games trying to win them. Earlier in the season a point away from home is not a bad result but now we will make positive changes and try everything to win.”
Barnsley were denied a clear penalty at Burton when home captain John Brayford should have been sent off for a handball on the line after 12 minutes.
The Reds have not been awarded a spot-kick in 50 league games and have previously written to the EFL to complain about decisions against them.
Duff said: “Khaled (El-Ahmad, chief executive) and the chairman (Neerav Parekh) spoke to Mike Jones (head of refereeing for the EFL). I had a lengthy phonecall with him. It’s almost pointless but it makes you feel a little bit better.
“Every club talks about referees but you look at the numbers – the amount of penalties other teams have had, the amount we’ve had given against us and we’ve had zero. From the turn of the year, we’ve scored more goals than anyone else so it’s not like we never get in the box. Maybe we will have to do it without a penalty. People say it evens itself out but it clearly doesn’t. There’s nothing we can do about referees, we have to take it out of their hands.
“The irony is we might win the play-offs on penalties, which I wouldn’t take now because it might kill me.”
In-between Barnsley’s home games with Lincoln and Forest Green in October, there was a meeting with coaching staff, recruitment staff and El-Ahmad in which they discussed a run of one point and no goals in four games.
The Reds changed formation to 3-5-2 for the 2-0 win over Forest Green which was the start of this run of 57 points from 25 games – the best form in the division.
Duff said: “It seems an eternity ago, that meeting and the run of games.
“It was difficult but we knew we weren’t far away. We probably didn’t think we would go on a run like we have been on.
“The 3-4-3 wasn’t working. 3-5-2 is the formation I want to play but it took time to get the right players in the right positions. But we’ve used 3-4-3 to see out games and that’s the beauty of it.”
Duff missed out on a nomination for League One ‘Manager of the Year’, with the bosses of the current top three on the shortlist instead.
“I am not really bothered. The top three have been the top three all season. Those decisions don’t define you. The focus has been to get promoted.”
After visiting Lincoln, Barnsley host relegation-battlers Oxford United on April 22 before welcoming promotion rivals Ipswich Town three days later. They complete the season at MK Dons on April 29 and at home to promotion-chasing Peterborough on May 7.
RELEVANT FIXTURES: Tomorrow: Exeter v Plymouth; Burton v Wednesday; Ipswich v Charlton. Tuesday: Bristol Rovers v Wednesday; Ipswich v Port Vale; Plymouth v Shrewsbury.