Doncaster derby with a difference for Barnsley

Barnsley FC come into the South Yorkshire derby this Saturday on a six-game winning run and face no fresh injury concerns.

Zeki Fryers remains suspended and a long-term injury to Kenny Dougall remains the only personnel concern for manager Daniel Stendel to deal with ahead of their meeting with rivals Doncaster.

Assistant head coach Andreas Winkler said confidence is high at Oakwell, but was keen to emphasise the team is focused on keeping their feet on the ground and not getting ahead of themselves.

He said: “It is a brilliant situation and every win makes us stronger. There is a lot of competition within the squad.

“Everything is good right now but we have to be humble and just look forward to Saturday.”

A South Yorkshire derby is always a big day for the whole club but two people will be feeling it is especially significant this weekend, for different reasons.

Winkler, who joined the club in summer, is facing his first regional clash with the Tykes. He has recognised the importance of the day to the club’s fans and is getting to grips with the nature of English derbies.

“I know it means a lot for the supporters, so it means a lot for us. I’m looking forward to seeing how many supporters will come,” he said.

“We have to take the leash off of the boys and let them play and to show their best performance.”

One of his players does not need to be told how much these derbies mean to the region’s clubs.

Alex Mowatt, fresh from signing a brand-new contract with Barnsley until 2020, made his professional debut in a Yorkshire derby for Leeds United before moving to Oakwell.

One of three players to start every game for the club this season, Doncaster-born Mowatt fully understands the fans’ excitement at these clashes and admitted he feels it as well.

“I always look for that [Doncaster] fixture when the fixture list comes out. Derby games are always the best games,” he said.

“The fans really look forward to it as well, everyone’s really up for it and I think they are the most entertaining games normally.”

Barnsley host Doncaster at Oakwell this Saturday (November 24th), kick-off 3pm.