NEILL Collins is expecting a positive reaction to the late equaliser Barnsley conceded in midweek ahead of an ‘exciting’ conclusion to the promotion fight.

The Reds won 4-2 at Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday then drew 2-2 at home to promotion rivals Bolton Wanderers on Tuesday, conceding a 98th-minute leveller.

That left them fourth in League One, three points off second-placed Bolton with a game in hand on them and third-placed Derby County.

The Reds – who are unbeaten in seven – now have 11 games left as they host fellow form side Lincoln City tomorrow before visiting bottom club Carlisle United on Tuesday.

Collins told the Chronicle: “We will find out more on Saturday if there is any hangover. We’ve addressed the positives – the desire to work for each other, block and run. We have addressed what needs to be better. All season long they have been very consistent and I wouldn’t expect them to react anything other than positively.”

After Saturday’s game, Barnsley will have ten games left in the promotion chase. Collins said: “The recent games have been big games because we made them big games by putting ourselves in this position. When we play these three games in the next week it will be quickly down to eight then we have Easter coming up. But we can’t let any of them pass us by.

“The focus is on Lincoln but we’re excited about the run-in and hope we can continue what we’ve done all season.”

Barnsley have kept just one clean sheet in their last 18 games. Collins said: “There is always something, until we are like Man City and winning 6-0 every week. Of course we want more clean sheets. The team has defended well but we would like to keep the other team off the scoresheet. If we get a clean sheet on Saturday, I will be delighted. But I guess the fans would rather have a free-scoring side. Hopefully we can stay free-scoring and keep clean sheets.”

Barnsley striker Devante Cole has 17 goals this season but none in his last six games and was taken over as the top-scorer in the division this week by Charlton Athletic’s Alfie May. Collins said: “I don’t worry about someone like Devante. He continues to work hard for the team. He’s had chances recently.

“As long as he continues like that he will add to his tally and we’ll continue to win. No concerns for me.”

John McAtee moved on to ten goals in all competitions when he netted the opener in midweek, while Herbie Kane has nine and Adam Phillips six, plus centre-back Donovan Pines has two in two. Collins said: “I am delighted for Macca. He had a back problem but it seemed to clear up when he did a backflip (to celebrate his goal). He made a big decision to stay here in January.

“I felt it was the correct decision for him and certainly the best decision for us. There will be more goals in him.

“Sam (Cosgrove) has been scoring.

“We highlighted at halfway that we need more goals from set pieces.

“We’ve done that which is positive. We definitely need everyone chipping in.”

After this week’s games, the Reds host relegation-battling Cheltenham Town on March 16 then have a week off before visiting leaders Portsmouth.

Barnsley are still waiting to hear if Cole and Jon Russell have been included for Jamaica’s final squad for this month’s international break.

If so, and no other Reds are selected as expected, Barnsley may have to visit Portsmouth on March 23 without their top-scorer.