IF ANYONE at Oakwell knows the merits of believing in automatic promotion until the very end, it is Luke Thomas.
The 24-year-old midfielder was on loan from Barnsley to Bristol Rovers last season when they beat Scunthorpe United 7-0 on the final day to pip Northampton Town to third place in League Two on goals scored.
Thomas, who started that game, is now part of a Reds squad who are six points off the two automatic places in League One with four games left.
He told the Chronicle: “That was probably the craziest day ever.
“Hopefully this time we can close the gap and it goes in our favour.
“Those sort of things can happen.
“All the lads know it’s not over until it’s over so we will keep going.”
He added: “The chances are very slim but football is the best sport in the world and anything can happen.
“We just have to do our best and see what happens.
“To reach the play-offs with four games to go is some achievement.”
Thomas missed four months of this season with a broken leg before returning in February, starting once and coming off the bench 12 times since then.
He said: “I have impacted a few games but not as many as I should’ve.
“It’s hard to impact games in 15 or 20 minutes off the bench. But hopefully I can keep working hard and make more of an impact off the bench or from the start.
“Credit has to go to the lads starting week in, week out with unbelievable consistency. I can’t complain about being on the bench.”
Thomas’ contract is due to expire at the end of the season.
“I am just focusing on promotion and a massive four games left this season. Whatever happens beyond that, we will talk about it afterwards.
“I would really like to stay and there have been some discussions but there are more important things to focus on.”
Barnsley have won their last eight home games heading into tomorrow’s meeting with lowly Oxford.
Thomas said: “We have made Oakwell our home again and eight wins on the bounce is something to be proud of. Hopefully we can make it nine on Saturday.
“It’s a massive game. Oxford are fighting for their lives.
“They are a very good team no matter where they are in the table.”
Barnsley drew 0-0 at Lincoln on Tuesday.
“The mood was a bit down but everyone knows how tough it is to go there.
“It’s another clean sheet and another game unbeaten.”