Seasons sound similar at Barnsley and MK Dons

Barnsley Chronicle’s Sports Editor Doug O’Kane gave the lowdown on the Tykes’ return to League One
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While nearly half a division separates MK Dons and Barnsley, the story at Oakwell sounds very similar to the one which has unfolded at Stadium MK this season.

The Tykes suffered relegation from the Championship last season, and like Dons, lost a lot of key men in the summer, forcing a huge transition for the side.

Michael Duff took over at Oakwell in the summer, leaving Cheltenham Town, tasked with the rebuild and the bid to get them back into the Championship. It hasn’t been a smooth transition though.

Doug O’Kane, Sports Editor of the Barnsley Chronicle, explained: “In League One, Barnsley are always expected to compete for promotion but there were doubts this time, given their record-breaking relegation last season and a summer of change including the sale of several key players with little money to replace them.

“Overall I think most people are happy with eighth in November, just a point outside the play-offs.”

With a new young side, learning a new way of playing, Barnsley’s performances have been up and down this season but recently, things have appeared to have clicked into gear - sound familiar?

“We expected inconsistency with a young squad being put together by a new boss in Michael Duff, but the swings have been pretty wild at times,” O’Kane added.

“They broke into the top six in early October after a great run then did not score for four league games which brought just one point but, after changing to 3-5-2, they have won three in a row in all competitions.

“They have one of the best defensive records in the country and, although Duff admits they are light up front, they have been finding ways to win recently. “