Barnsley hope to extend unbeaten home record against third place Sunderland on Tuesday

Barnsley’s assistant manager said his second placed team were looking forward to welcoming third placed Sunderland to the Oakwell on Tuesday evening.

However, Barnsley’s players and staff aren’t the only people looking forward to the game.

Dale Tonge said: “We’re under no illusions it’s a massive game, we’ve had fan mail from America. Somebody from Wisconsin is sending things, saying they’re looking forward to it and anticipating a good game et cetera. It just shows it’s a big game.

“We’re looking forward to it, as I’m sure Sunderland.”

The two teams are fighting it out for the second automatic promotion place up to the championship. However, Tonge was careful to play down its importance to Barnsley’s season overall.

“It is a big game, we can increase the gap and they can close the gap. But I don’t think this game is the be all and end all in the race towards the end of the season.”

Barnsley are unbeaten at home all season having won 12 and drawn six, but Sunderland are perhaps a bigger challenge than many others in the league.

“They’re a massive club, with a fantastic support base. I think most people have watched the documentary now. You can see how big the club is, the support they get is fantastic. We know they’ll bring a big crowd on Tuesday night and add to the atmosphere, add to the game,” he said.

“They’ve got some players who don’t belong at this level, they belong a lot higher in my opinion. We understand that, we’ll put things in place for these certain individuals and hopefully it bears fruit tomorrow,” he added.

Tonge singled out Northern Ireland international Will Grigg as a danger man. He said: “He’s an international, scores goals for fun and he’s just one of several who they signed in January who are of premier league quality.”

He also had some words of advice for his players: “If you don’t enjoy these nights you don’t enjoy football.”

Barnsley vs Sunderland kicks off at 7:45pm tomorrow.