Barnsley are ‘desperate’ to beat Bolton Wanderers tomorrow night but Neill Collins believes there is less pressure on them for this match than the previous home game with Derby County.

The Reds – who have won their last three games – are fourth in League One, three points behind both second-placed Derby, who have played two extra games, and third-placed Bolton, who have played one more game. They beat Derby in the previous home game which Collins said was not a must win.

Collins told the Chronicle: “I believed what I said at the time before Derby. I would say it was more of a must win than this one because of where we were at at that point. We’ve beaten Derby and Wycombe since.

"We want to beat Bolton. We’re desperate to win it. But there will be ups and downs. We have to win a certain number of games between now and the end of the season. It would be nice to be able to do that against one of our competitors.”

This will be the second meeting of the two clubs in 31 days. The Reds drew 1-1 in Bolton on February 3. Devante Cole put the visitors in front early and they missed several good chances in an impressive performance before Zac Ashworth levelled midway through the second half. Barnsley struggled against fellow promotion chasers earlier in the same but have improved recently.

Collins said: “The most important thing is three points and we’ll take it however it comes. If we can match the performance away and win that would be perfect.

“It won’t define our season but it’s another good yardstick to see where we’re at.

“The players took a lot of belief from the game at Bolton. We really respect what a good side Bolton are. It’s the same at Peterborough. To go there and hold our own gave us a lot of belief. We have beaten Stevenage, Oxford and Derby. We have answered questions about being able to beat the top teams. We just need to keep doing that.”

Barnsley had a lot of success pressing possession-based Bolton in the away game but the Trotters went far more direct at Oakwell last season. Collins said: “Bolton have a really distinct identity and philosophy but also a good coach who knows how to be effective. We’ve played each other a lot over the past couple of years. I am sure they will cause us issues however they choose to approach it.”

Another large home crowd is expected as Barnsley look for a third straight home win.

“The last couple of home games have been really special. The team have produced. The fans have been on song - literally.

“It’s another great opportunity for people to come down and support a team that is fighting right for the top of the table. There are six home games left and we will need them for every single one.”

Bolton have won three of their last nine games. Last week they visited two Lancashire neighbours – losing 4-1 at Blackpool on Saturday, to end a seven-game unbeaten league run, then went down 1-0 at Wigan on Tuesday. But they bounced back with a 2-0 home win over Cambridge United on Saturday.

Barnsley midfielder Luca Connell began his career at Bolton, while defender Josh Earl had a loan spell there in 2019/20.

Bolton have two ex-Reds. Victor Adeboyejo – who scored nine goals in 98 Barnsley games – has nine this season while defender Gethin Jones, who had a 2017 loan spell at Oakwell, has returned from the Asian Cup with Australia.

This will be the 49th meeting of the two clubs, with Barnsley winning 14 and losing 18. Barnsley have not won any of the last 16 league meetings since 1997 in the Premier League.

But the Reds did win in Bolton last season in the FA Cup and at Oakwell in the play-offs in May to reach the Wembley final – 1-0 thanks to a Liam Kitching goal.

The Trotters won their league visit 3-0 last season after Mads Andersen was sent off and conceded a penalty in the tenth minute.