BARNSLEY will look for a fifth successive away win when they make their longest trip of the League One season to Exeter City from 3pm.
The Devon club are tenth with 16 points from 11 games – three points and six places behind the Reds.
Gary Caldwell’s Exeter were top at the start of September, having won four of their first six games.
But they have lost four of their last five league games, including the last three.
This week they lost 2-0 at home to Northampton Town on Saturday then were beaten 4-1 at Charlton Athletic on Tuesday after taking the lead.
Their five home league games have brought two wins, a draw and two defeats. They have also won three EFL Cup games at St James Park but lost 9-0 there to Reading in the EFL Trophy last month.
About 600 Barnsley fans are due to attend the game in Exeter after 475 were in the away end at Cambridge in midweek.
Head coach Neill Collins told the Chronicle: “The fans were fantastic the other night, again. Those are the games when you are so pleased that you are able to send the fans that do make the trip home happy because it makes it all worthwhile. That’s what we will be looking to do again at Exeter.
“I hope we give the home fans a lot to cheer but, for those fans who spend their good money following us away, I am glad that we have given them some good days out and hopefully there are more to come.”
On the game in general, Collins said: “We are very wary of Exeter. They are very well-coached, and very attacking.
“They started this season great.
“Even on Tuesday, getting a man sent off impacted the game.
“It will be as difficult as any game we have had.
“Off the back of their defeats, it will be even more difficult for us.”
Barnsley have taken 13 points from 15 available away from home this season, which is their best ever start to a season on their travels.
But they have lost four of their five league games at Oakwell and have the 16th best home record in the division.
Collins said: “When we went to Cambridge, we were aware of how good they have been at home and the pressure they would put us under.
“Maybe that is what we need to do more at home – be prepared for what the other team is going to bring. Going to an away game you are mindful of the team you are playing and the environment.”
Although they will make a 520-mile round trip to Devon, days after travelling 270 miles to Cambridge and back, Collins is not daunted having travelled far greater distances regularly in his previous job with the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
“It’s a walk in the park this week. This would have been a good week in Florida.
“Coming from Planes, Trains and Automobiles, this is straightforward.
“Our local derby was Miami which was four hours.
“Jacksonville was four and a half hours which was considered a short trip.
“The long bus journeys can be a good opportunity to sit and talk.
“After special wins, everyone is in a good mood on the way back.
“Hopefully it’s like that this week.
“I usually work on the coach or play a Countdown app with some of the staff.
“Tom Yeomans (analyst) is good with the numbers and Tom Fawdry (goalkeeper coach) is good with the conundrums.”
Barnsley have met Exeter 22 times, losing 11 and winning seven.
They were the only side to do the double over the Reds last season.
They won 2-0 at Oakwell on October 8 – almost exactly a year ago during a dip in form under Michael Duff – then ended a 12-match unbeaten run with a 3-1 home success in March.
Collins said: “I have had a look at some of the clips, certainly from the second game because that was the one that Gary was in charge for. We both have different teams but there are aspects that will come into play.
“There are teams that other teams struggle against but we’re looking to put that right on Saturday.”
Barnsley made the trip to Devon twice as the match was supposed to take place in January but called off with three hours’ notice due to a frozen pitch.
The Reds played at Exeter 11 times, losing nine and winning two.
Exeter finished 14th last season after promotion from League Two but lost forwards Jay Stansfield, Sam Nombe and Jevani Brown as well as several of their highly-rated academy products.
They signed Jack Aitchison from Motherwell in the summer, after he left Barnsley in January.
The forward, who signed for the Reds in 2020 but spent two years out on loan, netted three goals in 23 games in the first half of last season.
He scored on his Exeter debut and was a regular starter in August then, after a month out due to a hernia operation, has come off the bench in the last two games.