Barnsley boss Valérien Ismaël insists that his side are underdogs for the play-offs, as they prepare for a crucial game against Swansea City on Monday.
The Tykes have been one of the surprise stories in the Championship, with Ismaël taking over when they were battling relegation before guiding them to a top six finish.
With only three games standing between the club and the Premier League, fans are optimistic that Barnsley can succeed.
However, Ismaël played down their chances when speaking to the Yorkshire Post, as he was keen to stress how his side are punching above their weight to be in this position.
“We are the underdogs when you see the four teams in the play-offs. The other teams have more budget, better players and a bigger squad and depth than us. But we have our principle, desire and beliefs and the player can raise their own performances.
“Mentally, we are really strong and that is why we can compete on the pitch and we are clear underdogs. It was not an expectation where Barnsley would be where they are.”
The first leg is at Oakwell, with home supporters allowed to attend.
Can you name each of these 17 ex-Barnsley players just by looking at these 3 clues?
This is Ismaël’s way of taking the pressure off his players, which seems a sensible thing to do ahead of what is a massive game.
In fairness, you can’t really argue with his assessment here. Barnsley don’t have the same resources as the sides they are going to come up against, but that’s what makes the Championship so good, as anyone can beat anyone.
So, Barnsley won’t be approaching this fixture with any fear, but Swansea are going to provide the Tykes with a stern test.
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