"The best team" - EFL expert issues bullish Barnsley stance ahead of 23/24 | OneFootball

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Football League World

·31 May 2023

"The best team" - EFL expert issues bullish Barnsley stance ahead of 23/24

Article image:"The best team" - EFL expert issues bullish Barnsley stance ahead of 23/24

Barnsley suffered play-off heartbreak against Sheffield Wednesday on Monday as they were beaten by the final action of the game from Josh Windass.

The Tykes went up against their South Yorkshire rivals in a bid to secure an immediate return to Championship football for next season.

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The two rivals finished third and fourth in League One last season, and could barely be split on the field in a game between two evenly matched sides. Nothing could separate them in normal time, and the same was nearly said for extra time until Windass stooped in to score a header with the final whistle about to blow.

The goal was a huge blow for resolute Barnsley who had been playing with 10 men for most of the game and only lost in the 123rd minute.

It means Michael Duff's side are set for another campaign in League One next season.

Will Barnsley get promoted in 2023/24? What have the pundits said?

Ali Maxwell of the Not the Top 20 podcast outlined that despite defeat, Barnsley should be confident of going again in 2023/24, he explained that they exceeded expectations last season, but that it should stand them in good stead next season.

Maxwell said: "General vibe of consolidating and rebuilding, rather than putting immediate pressure on promotion; but Duff's over performance and a lot of the players stepping up, in particular, suddenly turned them into right up there with the best teams in this division.

"I'm sure we will be in agreement here that for Barnsley this is a bit of a sickener, but no need to panic, and certainly plenty of reasons to feel fairly confident and bullish about attacking what looks to be a weaker League One next season."

Co-host George Elek continued with his agreement, he added: "Definitely. Right now, if the league was to start tomorrow, you'd be pretty confident that they would be the best team in it.

"With Barnsley it feels like they have the players and the form to be the best team as it is. I think as long as Duff is there it's impossible in my mind to see them being any worse. It looks like a pretty weak renewal next season of League One.

"Losing Ipswich and Wednesday is massive - the two sharks in the league. It's there for the taking. It doesn't feel like there are many good news stories right now in League One.

"For Barnsley, it really feels like if you can just hold onto what you've got, and repeat this performance again this season for next season, then I think they'll go up fairly comfortably."

Maxwell responded: "I'm excited to see them get even better. I don't think for a second that this has to be the best Barnsley side under Duff, this doesn't have to be the best that they look. The fact that they suddenly took on this terrifying attacking form in the second half of the season makes me very excited for them potentially scoring a lot of goals in League One.

"I see only good things next season, from where I'm sitting right now."

Is League One weaker next season? Should Barnsley be favourites?

Barnsley should be the firm favourites if they retain Duff and enough key personnel at Oakwell.

League One does look like it's fairly significantly weakened, even if clubs such as Derby county and Bolton Wanderers remain as sides with large fanbases and decent resources to go again at the top end of the division.

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