BARNSLEY will look to rediscover their excellent away form from earlier in the season when they visit crisis club Reading from 3pm.

The Royals are second-bottom in League One, five points off safety, with 13 from 18 games. The Reds are seventh, two points off the play-off places.

Reading were relegated out of the Championship last season then docked a point for late payment of wages before a suspended three-point deduction was triggered after they failed to comply with an order to deposit funds.

They were also handed a winding up petition last month and are looking for new owners.

Reading had taken just two points from nine league games from mid-September but won their last two league matches to move off the bottom of the division.

They won 2-1 at Wycombe Wanderers – collecting their first away points of the season in their tenth game on the road in the league – then thrashed fellow strugglers Carlisle United 5-1 at home.

They have a better home record than Barnsley this season with 14 points from nine games compared to the Reds’ 13.

Only Fleetwood Town have conceded more goals in League One this season than Reading’s 30.

Collins told the Chronicle: “Whatever situation you are in, you should play with hunger and intensity but Reading definitely have a lot of it.

“A lot of that comes from their youthfulness but we are young as well.

“We have to match that then show our quality and hopefully get three points.

“They are aggressive against the ball but, when they have it, they build out from the back and play.”

He added: “Their position doesn’t tell the full story. They are a young side but a good side and they have had some good wins recently. The young players are playing for their careers with a no fear attitude. It looks like what has happened to the club has brought the players and staff together.”

Since winning five successive away games earlier in the season, Barnsley’s only victory in six on the road was the FA Cup success at Horsham in which they fielded an ineligible player.

Collins said: “Our away form has been very good in the league. We want to give our fans a lot to cheer. We’ve have had some more difficult games away recently and some cup games.

“We should have won at Lincoln (a 2-2 draw last week) and if we replicate many parts of that on Saturday we will be in a good position to win.”

Reading’s Spanish head coach Ruben Selles was Southampton boss last season at the end of their relegation season from the Premier League. The 40-year-old – who had previously been an assistant coach in Greece, Russia, Azerbaijan, Norway and Denmark – then moved to the Royals in the summer.

They have won six out of eight cup games this season, netting 29 goals.

On Sunday they lost 2-1 at National League Eastleigh in the FA Cup – having made eight changes – then they won on penalties at home to Charlton in the EFL Trophy on Wednesday.

Reading captain Andy Yiadom played 66 games for the Reds between 2016 and 2018, captaining them for half a season then joining Reading for free after relegation in 2018.

The right-back has been in and out of the first 11 this season but started the last five league games.

Royals goalkeeper David Button played nine games for the Reds on loan from Tottenham Hotspur in 2012.

They are two of a handful of experienced veterans in the Reading squad but the rest are youngsters, mostly in their first full season as professionals.

Only Peterborough have fielded younger sides this season on average in League One.

The Reds are winless in ten against the Royals, losing five and drawing five.

Their three wins over them this century have all been in Reading – in 2009 in the League Cup, in 2011 when Luke Steele saved two penalties and a 3-1 win in 2014 when Stephen Dawson, Dale Jennings and Reuben Noble-Lazarus netted.

After that last win, they have not scored in five visits with a 0-0 draw followed by four straight defeats.

The last meeting was at Oakwell in April last year when a 1-1 draw helped Reading stay clear of the Reds in their relegation battle.