BARNSLEY will have to be patient when they host Oxford United from 3pm, says head coach Neill Collins.
The Us finished 19th last season, two points clear of the relegation zone.
They had a poor first week of this season, losing 2-0 at Cambridge United in the league then 5-1 at Championship Bristol City in the EFL Cup.
This week, they won 1-0 at home to newly-promoted Carlisle United on Saturday then 2-1 at Derby County on Tuesday. They have six points from their opening three games so are above the Reds who have four.
The Us are managed by Liam Manning whose relegation-bound MK Dons lost at Oakwell in November last year, before he was sacked then moved to Oxford who lost 2-0 in Barnsley in April.
Collins said: “To go to Derby and Barnsley in five days is a really tough ask. They have won the first one which makes it more palatable.
“They are similar to our last two games, with attacking threats.
“We have shown we can cause other teams problems.”
Manning’s sides are known for possession-based, attractive football.
Collins said: “At Derby, Oxford did a good job of getting the balance right.
“They defended manfully and coped with set pieces, then countered well.
“Liam won a lot of games at MK Dons playing a good style.
“But there’s more to it than that.
“They are organised defensively.
“We will have to be patient because they do like to try to keep it. We want to implement our style.
“I know Liam did a great job in his first season at MK Dons. Obviously they had a difficult second season but he’s doing well at Oxford and I am looking forward to facing him.”
This match will be Barnsley’s fourth at home in the opening fortnight of the season. Collins said: “The first game is always going to be hard to replicate when you win 7-0 (against Port Vale).
“But the other night (Tuesday’s 3-1 loss to Peterborough at Oakwell) was an excellent atmosphere.
“The fans got behind us.
“But it was a crazy two-minute spell to lose two goals. The pitch is fantastic and the fans have been behind us and I am looking forward to being there again on Saturday.”
The clubs have met 27 times, with Barnsley winning 14 and losing seven.
The Reds have not lost to the Us in five meetings – four draws and a win – since a 1-0 away defeat in 1999.
Oxford’s only win at Oakwell was a 1-0 success in 1993, after which they have not scored in five visits – losing four and drawing one.
They have visited 13 times in total, drawing two and losing ten – scoring just two goals.
A week after the Oxford game, Barnsley will complete their August fixtures with a trip to Wigan Athletic.