Barnsley can 'put pressure on Sunderland' says Tykes assistant Dale Tonge
Barnsley assistant Dale Tonge knows the importance of this weekend's trip to Walsall - with a chance to put pressure on promotion rivals Sunderland.
The Tykes are two points ahead of the Black Cats in the League One table but have played one game more than the Wearsiders.
Sunderland won't play another league game until April 3, due to their postponed game at Fleetwood and the Checkatrade Trophy final.
In that time Barnsley will play twice, with a home clash against Coventry set to follow their trip to the Banks's Stadium.
Back-to-back wins would see Barnsley move eight points clear of Sunderland, who will have to play eight league games in April.
“The boys have had the weekend off, which was fully deserved given the week they’d had prior,” said Tonge.
“They’ve had a good bit of downtime and were back in on Wednesday looking fresh and sharp.
“Ultimately, we have to do our thing – we know that if we win both our games it’ll put pressure on Sunderland. We’ve got to win our games – if we don’t do that then it’s irrelevant. We’ll focus on us and what will be will be.
“Our goal is to win every game and what happens at the end of the season will be just rewards for where we finish.”
For the second week running Barnsley's game will be shown live on Sky Sports, after the Saturday fixture at Walsall was moved forward to a 12:00 kick-off.
It follows the Tykes' goalless draw at Doncaster on Friday night and Tonge is looking forward to another meeting in front of the cameras.
“It’s great to get the recognition on Sky and it’s something that the boys deserve,” added Tonge.
“A lot of the football has been lauded about this season, and I think it’s fully deserved.
“The Friday game was very tough and I thought Doncaster play very well, but we came into the game and, with a very stretched squad, performed very well and came out with a clean sheet."