Football: Wilson wary of rampant Wolves

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The Independent Online
Having spent much of the season trailing in the wake of Bolton's inexorable return to the Premiership, Barnsley find themselves within touching distance of the second automatic place. Unsurprisingly, Danny Wilson, the Yorkshire club's manager, is aiming to maintain an air of calm at Oakwell for today's meeting with Charlton.

"There is very relaxed mood around the place as we all know what is needed," Wilson said. "Five clubs, including ourselves, have a realistic chance of getting automatic promotion, but our destiny is in our own hands. If we win all our remaining games then no one will be able to catch us. We have to be positive."

Wilson could be forgiven for paying heed to the fortunes of third-placed Wolves. Mark McGhee's side are one point behind Barnsley, although they have played one game more.

McGhee will not expect the red carpet treatment as he returns to his former former club, Reading. A carpeting will be the more likely reception from supporters who resent his departure from Elm Park in 1994 when he moved to Leicester.

He was not about to be intimidated, however. "I have played in front of big crowds as a player so I have no qualms about that," he said. "There is nothing for me to be frightened of."

Bold words will be bolstered by the return of the defender Adrian Williams, back in the side after two months on the sidelines with a hamstring injury.

John McGinlay could miss Bolton's home match with Oxford after picking up a thigh strain in the midweek victory at Manchester City, which confirmed Colin Todd's side as champions. Mixu Paatelainen, who scored at Maine Road, is standing by to replace the Scot.

Despite that defeat, the Manchester City manager, Frank Clark, is adamant his team must not let standards slip with six games remaining.

"My players must be aware that the silly phrase 'there is nothing to play for' must not come into their thinking," he said before today's match at West Bromwich Albion.

Meanwhile Brighton, floundering at the foot of the Third Division, face Wigan, also promoted this week, with the hope that silence is Goldstone. Seagulls' supporters will mark the last match at the Goldstone Ground, against Doncaster on 26 April, with a two-minute hush to honour 95 years of football at the site.

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