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View from the South Stand - Barnsley 06/11/11

Brighton and Hove Albion host struggling Barnsley FC on Sunday afternoon at the Amex Stadium.

We asked Tykes fan Wilky from www.onthepontyend.com to answer some questions for us ahead of this fixture

Barnsley always seem to be tipped as strugglers in the Championship. What does it take to survive in this division season after season and why have you become so adept at doing it?
Its a comment often made, but the history books show its our natural division, having played more games in the second tier than any other team. To survive in this league you have to be able to support decent home form and hope you pick up results on the road. But overall, Barnsley have always been passionate about playing good football, meaning that we tend to fair better against more accomplished teams. In the end, we seem to survive on those qualities.

Last season you lost quite a promising young manager in Mark Robins who resigned. What was that all about?
Mark Robins allegedly could not work with a reduced (playing) budget. The club and Mark Robins could not work together it is believed.

 

Keith Hill did wonders at Rochdale and we were very impressed with his side last season after two draws with them. How is he getting on at Oakwell?
He's an honest man who speaks his mind. That approach sometimes suggests that fans don't know what they're talking about and that we should expect less of our beloved club. However, his philosophy overall is a positive one, with discipline and hard work at its core. Barnsley have been a far better team as a result. This season we may not fully shine, but the work that "Hillcroft" do today will reap rewards in the future.

Two of our former players now ply their trade for Barnsley. Jim McNulty was popular with the fans but his shocking kidney injury effectively ended his time here while Craig Davies was far from popular thanks to a succession of pretty awful misses. How are they getting on?
McNulty and Davies are just settling in to Barnsley at the moment and it would be unfair to critique their performances just yet. Although Davies has had some near misses at his time already at Oakwell - he has scored in his last two games and we're sure more is to come. McNulty is probably another of Keith Hill's "broken toys" that he's working on, but looks a promising player at Championship level.

Everybody remembers your FA Cup run of a few seasons ago. Just how good was it beating both Liverpool and Chelsea?
Unbelievable really. Whilst beating Liverpool at Anfield was the stuff of dreams, nothing quite matches frustrating the then Premier League champions in our own back yard. The atmosphere is something that will live with me forever. Just the thought that we were 90 minutes away from an FA Cup Final was special.

What are your realistic hopes for this season?
Mid table. But with the table and league poised as it is, two results could catapult us in to the top ten and a tilt at a play-off position. Consistency is the key for any team in the Championship. But we will defy the soothe-sayers who have Barnsley destined for the drop on a perennial basis.


Where do you think Barnsley should aspire to be in terms of the footballing pyramid? Will there ever be a return to the top flight, even briefly?
Perhaps the Championship is our natural platform, therefore that's where our expectations are. Like any club, we know there would be benefits in promotion, but like many more before and after us, it can also give you massive problems. A successful Championship team, performing consistently,with a few cup runs to boot, would satisfy most fans.

How much do you know about Brighton and Hove Albion?
Very little really. Seem to be a stable club with a great set-up, with aspirations to play at the highest level. Remember the 1983 final, with Manchester United being my second team, but haven't really followed events at the club.

Are Tykes fans looking forward to the trip to The Amex, even though it has had to be moved to a Sunday because of Lewes' bonfire processions?
Not sure. A lot of fans are struggling financially at the moment and a trip down South will not necessarily be a well supported affair. There's always those who will use the visit as a "trophy" occasion for their stadium bucket list, but other than that - it's not a special fixture in any respect. No offence meant. We tend to look out for the games against Leeds United and perhaps Donny first.

Finally, a predicition for Sunday's game? (We haven't won in ten if that helps you make your mind up!)
BHA 1 - 2 Barnsley FC. I just fancy us to nick 3 points on the road, prior to the international break and in front of our home game against Donny

Many thanks to Wilky for his insight into the forthcoming fixture. You can follow
On The Ponty End on Twitter
and send them lots of lovely tweets about the game.


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