Team news, facts and figures, head-to-head and ticket details ahead of Barnsley’s visit to the DW Stadium.
- Wigan Athletic v Barnsley match preview.
- Graham Barrow: “Time for us to show our characters.”
- Latics face The Tykes at the DW Stadium
WIGAN ATHLETIC v BARNSLEY
SKY BET CHAMPIONSHIP
THURSDAY 13 April 2017
Kick off 7.45pm
GRAHAM BARROW: Read the Interim Manager’s thoughts prior to the game, here
After Nick Powell’s sensational last minute strike to secure all three points against Rotherham United last Saturday, Graham Barrow’s men look to make it back-to-back home wins for the first time all season and keep survival hopes alive.
It’s another game where Latics have no other option but to go for victory and try and put pressure on rivals who only play on Friday or Saturday. Barrow says his job is to keep the players focused on this one challenge only and not let them be distracted by league position.
Barnsley will be difficult opponent. They have had a really steady season with Paul Heckinbottom in charge, who has proved himself to be a revelation since taking charge of the side from Lee Johnson 15 months ago.
That said, Saturday’s victory at Blackburn was their first in nine matches, so they are certainly not unbeatable. However, safely in mid-table with no chance of either relegation or play-offs, like Rotherham, they can play with freedom and will be dangerous as a result.
Paul Heckinbottom has brought about real success in a short space of time
Barrow revealed that Alex Gilbey is a doubt with a knee injury sustained against Rotherham and will have to shuffle his pack. Nick Powell is unlikely to start despite his last minute heroics on Saturday, he is only just back from a long-term hamstring problem. The injury list of Omar Bogle, Will Grigg, Andy Kellett, Ryan Tunnicliffe remains the same.
For Barnsley, Adam Hamill has a broken toe so will be out as is Andy Yadom who needs an operation on a dislocated shoulder.
SEASON SO FAR
It would be difficult to envisage any Barnsley supporters being unhappy with the way things have gone in their first season back in the Sky Bet Championship. 15 months or so ago, they were in the relegation places in League One, but a quite remarkable change in fortunes has carried on after the club came up via the Play-Offs, and if consolidation was the aim this season, then that has certainly been achieved.
They lost three big players in the transfer window, Sam Winall, James Bree and Conor Hourihane, but despite that, they have stabilised well and their victory at Blackburn made them mathematically safe from relegation - not that that has ever really been any kind of worry for them this season.
CURRENT SQUAD, 2016-17 LEADING LEAGUE GOALSCORERS (players still at club)
11, Marley Watkins
8, Tom Bradshaw
5, Adam Armstrong
4, Marc Roberts
3, Adam Hammill
HEAD TO HEAD
Barnsley won the first-ever meeting between the two sides in the 1954-55 FA Cup at Oakwell as Ted Goodier’s Non-League Latics lost 3-2 to the Third Division North Tykes at Oakwell.
Since then, though, Latics have dominated the head-to-head record and, following election to the Football League in 1978, have never lost a league game at Oakwell – winning four of the last five visits after drawing there in the 1978-79 campaign. The reverse fixture in November was a hard-fought 0-0 draw.
Up until Barnsley’s final day win at the DW Stadium last season, the Tykes had never won a league game against Latics with just a 1990-91 League Cup success and the 2014-15 Johnstone’s Paint Trophy success to their name.
PLAYED FOR BOTH CLUBS:
Current squad members David Perkins, Sam Morsy and Ryan Tunnicliffe are all former Barnsley players, while no one in the away ranks has any links.
Sam Morsy, earlier this season
Looking back in time, the big two links are probably Andy Liddell and Arjan DeZeeuw, revered at both clubs, but Nicky Eaden also had good spells at both. More recently, Mike Pollitt was on loan at Oakwell briefly while Craig Davies, Reece Wabara, David Cotterill, Ryan Shotton, Jason Scotland, Gary Teale, Tomasz Cywka, Neil Redfearn, Lee Butler, Wayne Biggins and Neil Whitworth are all players to have played at both clubs either on loan or as a full signing.
Arjan De Zeeuw in Barnsley colours
Referee: Simon Hooper. 2016-17: 38 matches, Y133, R3
Assistant Referee 1 – Christopher Ackers
Assistant Referee 2 – Andrew Fox
Fourth Official – Peter Bankes