Barnsley boss Lee Johnson has been a huge hit at the club since his arrival a few months ago from Oldham Athletic.
The 33-year-old returned to his former ground with Barnsley. Many expected him to suffer a defeat, which would have been the club’s first in five matches. This was after the club put together an amazing winning run starting from the 2-0 win over Crewe Alexandra towards the end of February. Since the victory, the team has conceded just one goal, which came against Oldham, and have been imperious otherwise. This excellent run of form has seen them move into the play-off places with nine matches left in the season.
Barnsley have suddenly become favourites for a play-off finish due to this good form. It is often said that only teams with momentum can make it into the final stages of play-offs and even get promoted to the next division. If this rule holds true, Barnsley are the best placed in this division. Johnson accepted that the Oldham fans were mixed in their response and this was understandable. However, he admitted that it was always going to be difficult for him returning to one of his previous clubs. Johnson was at the club for two years before joining Barnsley.
“It was tough coming back, to be honest. Winning is what it’s all about and this is a fantastic result, but it was very raw and I just tried to be as professional as I could. The reception was mixed, if I’m being generous, but I understand and I don’t hold that against anyone. I had two fantastic years here at Oldham and people don’t know the full story about me leaving, but for me it’s a new club and a new beginning. The game was passionate and charged,” said Johnson.