By Ty Jenner
On Saturday, MK Dons are on their travels as they head North to Oakwell to take on Barnsley in their next League One clash. In preparation for the match, we spoke to Barnsley fan Josh Atherton on Twitter to some questions regarding the game. Many thanks for taking part as always!
Since relegation from the Championship, how do you think your side have been so far this season?
It has been much better than anticipated. I thought we would struggle this season with the amount of change in the off-season, but the players have bought into Duff’s philosophy. We’re lacking goals at the minute but we’re strong defensively which has kept us in games and gives us a strong foundation.
Where do you think Barnsley fans will be looking to finish in the league this season?
In and around the playoffs, we’re probably in that second bracket of teams who aren’t good enough for the top 2 but could make the playoffs.
Were you happy with the clubs’ activity and business in the transfer market during the summer?
Not really. Incomings have been mostly positive but we needed another forward in for a bit of depth. Luke Thomas got injured and it took us 4/5 games to adjust our system without him in the 10.
Outgoings have been poor – our better players left after relegation, and if the rumoured fees are true then we have sold players seriously under value. Carlton Morris went for less than £2 million and is the Championships top scorer.
Do you think the club need to do further business in the January transfer window to strengthen?
We need depth if we are to challenge for the playoffs. Another forward and a replacement 10 to rotate with Luke Thomas would be good business.
Who or what made you support Barnsley?
My dad! He took me to my first game when I was 5/6 years old and we scored a 90th minute winner. The atmosphere from that moment had me hooked.
It’s been seven years since the two sides last faced each other, with the Dons being the victors in January 2015, do you think Barnsley can get the upper hand this time round?
I hope so. We’ve been hard to beat in recent weeks but with a young side inconsistency has been our downfall, and sides in the lower half are the ones we struggle against.
Have you been to Stadium MK? What is your opinion of the ground?
I’ve never been, but it’s one of those that seems to divide football fans. Personally, I think it’s a nice stadium but seems to lack atmosphere.
How do you think your team will approach the game?
I’m expecting our usual 5-3-2 with a high press. We went through a phase of bypassing the midfield and being lethargic in possession but recently we have played through the middle and looked a little more threatening.
What players do you think the Dons should look out for/who will cause the Dons problems?
Jordan Williams at right wing-back. He’s recently come back from injury and has been a breath of fresh air carrying the ball forward and providing energy down the right hand side. Also, Luca Connell and Herbie Kane in the middle. Both can dictate any game in this league if given the time and space. Devante Cole has been our main goal threat this year as well.
How surprised have you been by MK Dons’ start to the League One season baring in mind they were a point away from the Championship last season?
Very surprised! I thought the system, style, and foundation was there to go again. Surely Scott Twine wasn’t that important!
If you could have any current player from the Dons who would it be and why?
Probably Will Grigg. We need more forwards in the side and he’s got a strong record in this division.
Thank you for participating, it really helps us understand our opponents and what to expect from them. Finally, what do you think the score will be?
Barnsley 2-0 MK Dons
Ed Cheers Josh …well right up to the prediction. Lol