It’s Gentry Day on Saturday and manager Simon Grayson can’t wait to get out there at Oakwell and see the resplendent North End faithful dressed for the occasion.
“It will be a fantastic following,” he said. “It is a great idea that takes place every year and we are looking forward to seeing them all in their suits and bowler hats and with the run that we’re on, it should increase the numbers that are over there.
“Our performances away from home have been really good and they have been backed by some fantastic support and hopefully come five o’clock on Saturday they are celebrating positively again.”
The Lilywhites face a tough test on the field, with Barnsley unbeaten in seven, having won six of those, to currently occupy the final Play-Off spot and under the eye of new manager Lee Johnson they have shown what they are capable of.
However, the North End gaffer believes that with every team having something to play for, it means opportunities will present themselves to all teams to go and win matches at the business end of the season.
“We were playing another in-form team the other night – Peterborough had won four on the trot and we had a tough game against them,” he continued.
“Lee has gone into Barnsley and done a great job; they drew the other night at Orient, which is never an easy place to go and he has got something going there.
“They have given themselves a fantastic opportunity to get into the Play-Offs, so we know it is a tough game. They have players who have played at a good level, but they have also recruited some good young players as well, so their recruitment policy has been good and Lee has changed things round to give them the impetus, confidence and belief to go and get results.
“Teams in that middle area of the table will look at Barnsley and think what is possible and that’s how tight our division is. There is hardly anyone with nothing to play for – there is something riding on every game and that is good for us as teams know they have to get results and that can work in our favour.”
Sitting second in League One, Grayson’s side play their game in hand on promotion rivals Swindon Town at Oakwell, due to the Robins’ game against Johnstone’s Paint Trophy finalists Walsall being moved to the same night PNE play Notts County at the end of April.
And as they move onto the tenth game out from the season’s finale, he is delighted that everyone is pulling in the right direction: “After the game on Tuesday night I made a big point in the dressing room of saying how impressed I have been with the players who have not been playing.
“The lads who have not played on a Saturday or a Tuesday do running after the game or do some football work on the pitch and they also work hard in training every day.
“Every one of them has been a credit to their profession, because they know they could get a chance. They have played a big part so far and we have stressed that any success that we have will be down to the spirit and togetherness we have. So a lot of credit goes to the players who are out of the team, as well as the ones who are in it.
“It is not easy, but they understand the situation. These players sat in the stand would walk into any League One team and that just shows the quality we have got and where we are as a squad with everybody fit and available,” he added.