Follow us on Twitter @claretandview // Words by Harry Trend (@HazaTrand)


On Saturday Villa play Barnsley looking to replicate the performance in a 4-0 win over the Tykes earlier in the season. One man hoping that doesn’t happen is Barnsley fan Matt Hanwell (@matthanwell).
Matt’s a lifelong reds fan whose skipping his own introduction to say a massive thank you to ex owner Patrick Cryne. “Mr Cryne bought us at a time we could have ceased existing and has always put the club first! He is currently battling terminal cancer our thoughts are with him and his family!!”

How would you rate your season so far out of 10 and why?

I’m going to go with a 5, it’s been a tough to watch at times down at Oakwell this season but with the depth of money and quality in the championship staying up is our main goal and one we’re on track for!

Which Barnsley players should Villa be wary of?

Hard to pick standouts to be honest, every time we get real quality they get sold in the next window, Hammill can still pull it out the bag on his day, but any real threat comes down the right from Andy Yiadom at right back and  Lloyd Isgrove (if he’s fit) on the right wing. Tom Bradshaw’s into double figures this season up top despite him playing as the world’s smallest target man!!

Do the Tykes need to strengthen in January? If so where?

YES! Our new owners certainly have some cash to spend if they choose to and we could really do with it! Think our average squad age is around 23 so would like to say a few more experiences types come in just to galvanise and develop these young lads! We lack depth in most places and a new spine needs to be high on the agenda, we’ve just bought Kieffer Moore who adds some size up top but hopefully the next 2 week will see us bring a few more in!

If you could, which past Barnsley player would you bring into the starting XI?

That’s a tough one when you’ve got such past greats as Hossam Ahmed Mido and Emmanuel Frimpong to choose from! I’m joking obviously they were both terrible! Without delving back into the Premiership years I’d love to have John Stones and Alfie Mawson back, think those two back in at centre half would make one hell of a platform to build on!

If you were Paul Heckingbottom and had to sign one Aston Villa player for the

Tykes, who would it be?

Can I take 4 or 5? Honestly I’d take Connor Hourihane back, he developed into a quality midfielder down at Barnsley and we’ve not found anyone who can pick a pass and unlock a defence like he did since.

Do you think signing Gary Gardner on a permanent deal is high on Paul Heckingbottoms to do list?

I think it’s probably on the list I’m not sure it would be that high up.

Score prediction for Saturday?

1-1  The table says you should win this, but this is the Championship and you don’t follow Barnsley all your life without optimism! Last weeks 0-0 draw with Wolves was our best team display this season and I’d like to think the players take confidence from that when we visit Villa Park.

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