Barnsley had gone a remarkable total of 118 days unbeaten in League One before they faced Burton Albion on Saturday.
During this period, Daniel Stendel’s Tykes played 20 games and amassed a total of 44 points which saw them move into second place behind runaway leaders Luton Town. With only six games to play before the end of the season, it was looking increasingly likely that the Yorkshire-based outfit were going to extend their run up to May.
However, the Brewers had different ideas at the weekend as goals from Jamie Allen, Liam Boyce and Marcus Harness secured the victory for the home side at the Pirelli Stadium and thus snapping Barnsley’s streak.
Although the defeat to Burton was compounded by victories for promotion challengers Sunderland and Portsmouth, it may have been a blessing in disguise for the Tykes. During their run, they dropped points in no fewer than eight of their games which allowed their rivals to keep within striking distance of them.
It could be argued that the value of remaining unbeaten during this period inadvertently prevented Barnsley from going all out for victories and so by losing at the weekend, they may in fact benefit over the next month.
Indeed, the fact that Sunderland have the same amount of points as the Tykes but still have two games in hand means that Stendel’s side no longer are in control of their own destiny yet they remain in a good position to secure automatic promotion if the Black Cats slip-up.
However, even if they are usurped from the top two positions in May, the Tykes will still have a second chance of achieving promotion via the play-offs, which they have a great recent relationship with. In 2006, Barnsley achieved promotion from League One by defeating Swansea City in the final whilst a decade later they repeated the feat by emerging victorious over Millwall. A third consecutive victory in the knock-out competition therefore would not be entirely out of the question, especially when you consider how well Stendel’s side have been playing this season.
What do you think Barnsley fans? Can your side bounce back from defeat at Burton? Would you be confident of them securing promotion via the play-offs this season? Get in touch below.