Former Huddersfield Town manager Danny Cowley has suggested that the fact Barnsley’s squad does not have much experience of the top-flight could make them hungrier than other sides for promotion.
The Tykes continued their impressive run of form in the Championship on Saturday against play-off rivals Bournemouth in a game that swung both ways before Barnsley edged out 3-2 winners.
That victory kept in sixth place in the table, but Cardiff City’s defeat at home to Watford alongside their win against the Cherries means they are now five and seven points clear of seventh and eighth position.
The win also means that Barnsley have now won eight out of their last nine Championship games. They are showing no signs of faltering under the pressure of now being chased down for a play-off place. The Tykes will be aiming to continue their recent form over the next few weeks and if they do that could well cement their top-six position.
Speaking to EFL on Quest, Cowley was asked whether Barnsley could emulate the likes of Huddersfield, Leeds United and Sheffield United in winning promotion despite not having much top-flight experience within their squad. He suggested that the hunger to make it to the top-level might prove to be a real difference for them in the end-of-season run-in.
He said: “There’s something in it, because they’ve got a group in that changing room that are all aspiring to be better, all with ambition to want to play higher, all at a really really good age and the motivation, when the motivation for those players is similar it can be really powerful.
“You get like-minded people in the same dressing room and you can achieve wonderful things.”
You would have to agree with Cowley that Barnsley’s squad are showing an almost relentless hunger to try and ensure they go on and secure a top-six position this term. Having guided Lincoln City to back-to-back promotions from the National League to League One, he knows all about the qualities that having a motivated group of players to show they can perform at a higher level can bring.
It is therefore a very encouraging sign that he sees that sort of situation potentially developing for the Tykes at the moment. Whilst the likes of Bournemouth and Cardiff City do have squads that are full of players who have vast amounts of top-flight experience, Barnsley are making their hunger to get to that level count and make up for that deficiency between the sides.
At this stage in the campaign, momentum is everything and Barnsley at the moment are the side that have all of the momentum heading in their favour. They seem unstoppable right now and their squad are showing no signs of losing sight on the prize that potentially awaits them.