Unbeaten runs in football are typically lauded by supporters who take pride in their side’s inability to be defeated by their opponents.
Arsenal’s Invincibles are widely remembered for their achievement of going an entire Premier League season without suffering a loss whilst Juventus and Celtic have matched this feat in their respective leagues in recent years.
However, if a run of results is not laced with an abundance of victories, it can have a negative impact on a club’s ability to progress in a campaign. This can be attributed to Barnsley’s situation in League One. Unbeaten in the third tier since the eighth of December, the Tykes have failed to lose in 20 games yet when you look at their recent record, you start to see the emergence of a disturbing pattern.
Daniel Stendel’s side’s last eight fixtures has seen them draw on five occasions which has resulted in them dropping ten points in their hunt for promotion to the Championship. If they had lost three of those games and won the other two, they would have still been able to accumulate a higher total (6). Although it could be argued that they would have benefited from entering those clashes with the confidence that an unbeaten run brings to a side, the position that they find themselves in at the end of the season could depend on what approach they take.
Barnsley are currently second in League One and are five points clear of Portsmouth and six ahead of Sunderland with both sides having the opportunity to close the gap to the Yorkshire-outfit when they play their games in hand.
Whereas two wins and four draws in their remaining six fixtures would move the Tykes onto 89 points, four victories and two losses will see them finish on 92, a total which should see them secure a top-two finish alongside runaway leaders Luton Town. With this in mind, Stendel should consider sacrificing the club’s unbeaten run by going all-out to secure wins in their coming games as his players will be able to focus solely on achieving three points.
What do you think Barnsley fans? Would you take giving up your 20-game unbeaten run if it meant that you secured automatic promotion? Or is the importance of not losing paramount to the Tykes’ hopes? Get in touch below.
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