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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW V BARNSLEY

7 February 2014

Happy Tykes memories for Mick as Oakwell hosts Blues

Mick McCarthy hopes Barnsley beat the drop through the Championship trapdoor this season but not at the expense of Town’s promotion bid. 

The Blues’ boss returns to his hometown club on Saturday and while he admits his memories of six years at Oakwell are happy ones, he’s looking for another happy one with three points at the final whistle. 

“I played close on 300 League games for the club and had six great years there,” recalled Mick to the Club website. 

“They were successful years for me personally as well. We won promotion from the Fourth Division to the Third and then to the Second. 

“I’ll be seeking out a few familiar faces there on Saturday and I hope Barnsley get out of the relegation places – but not at the expense of our promotion bid.”
 
Barnsley may sit in 23rd place in the Championship but Mick says that his Town side could be in for one of their hardest games of the campaign. 

“Some people may think that we’ve had a tough run with QPR, Reading and Leeds and that for some bizarre reason, it won’t be as tough against Barnsley and Blackpool. 

“That’s nonsense. They could be our hardest games of the season. Barnsley were much better than us in the second-half at our place and deserved to win so we know what to expect on Saturday, another really testing 90 minutes.”

Team news
Town are unlikely to have Luke Hyam available for the trip to Oakwell. The midfielder is still sidelined with a badly cut knee but is expected to be fit for next weekend. Sylvan Ebanks-Blake is training again after recovering from a hamstring injury while Cole Skuse has recovered from a blow to the head in last week’s win against Bolton. Stephen Hunt is a concern having missed training on Thursday but looks likely to be in the squad for tomorrow.   

Barnsley will be without Jacob Mellis and Emmanuel Frimpong. Both were sent-off in their defeat at Sheffield Wednesday last weekend and are suspended. Bobby Hassell could return for the Tykes after a spell out injured. 

Where they finished last season
Town - 14th 
Barnsley - 21st

Where they currently stand
Town - 7th 
Barnsley – 23rd

Last time we met
The Sky TV cameras were at Portman Road as Town took on the Tykes at the start of November, with Daryl Murphy putting Blues ahead just before the break. Barnsley were the much better side in the second-half though. Jim O’Brien equalised and the visitors threatened a winner on a number of occasions with former Blue, Jason Scotland, twice denied late on. 

Match Officials
Referee: Darren Bond
Assistants: Christopher Kavanagh and James Wilson
Fourth Official: Graham Salisbury

Live commentary of the game is available on Ipswich Player from 3pm, with live updates coming via our official Facebook and Twitter pages.





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