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Day of reckoning for Reds and Terriers in spicy finale to remarkable Championship campaign

It’s the last-chance saloon for two old derby rivals on Saturday.

Barnsley and Huddersfield clash at the John Smith Stadium in a match that neither of them can afford to lose if they are to be sure of remaining in the Championship.

And just to provide a little extra spice to the make-or-break scenario, Town are managed by former Reds’ boss Mark Robins.

David Flitcroft, the man currently overseeing team affairs at Oakwell, has called upon his players to provide a successful finale to what has been a Herculean effort to avoid relegation since he took over the reins just after the turn of the year.

He is also urging the supporters to roar their side on with the same kind of passionate backing which has characterised recent performances.

Put in simple terms Barnsley will stay up if they win, go down if they lose, and, if they draw, require Peterborough to return pointless from their visit to play-off hopefuls Crystal Palace.

A point will be sufficient for Huddersrfield’s survival.

The Reds have been in the Championship for the last seven seasons and it would be a big blow if they were to be relegated back to Division One, especially after staging such a heart-warming revival in the last four months, when they have delighted their fans not only with their pride and passion but also the quality of some of their football.

Flitcroft himself makes no secret of the pride he feels at the way in which the team has galvanized not only the club, but the whole town.

He said: “This was a club that was disillusioned, but we’ve worked hard to sort out the problems to bring a sense of unity. Now we’ve got a great chance of staying up on the last day of the season and that’s a great achievement when you consider where we were at Christmas. We’ve stayed together as a unit and the players have given me everything. I couldn’t have asked for more. Now we need one last big effort.”

Stephen Dawson makes a welcome return after suspension but Flitcroft may be loathe to change a side which performed so magnificently in beating second-in-the-table Hull City at Oakwell last Saturday.

Ironically, the last time the Reds visited the John Smith Stadium was in the League One play-offs seven years ago, when they recorded a 3-2 aggregate success over the two legs to gain promotion to the Championship.

 

 

 

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