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Friday, 28 November 2014

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Bayliss urges Barrow to get in Wrexham's faces

BARROW AFC boss Dave Bayliss has refused to write off tonight’s clash with Wembley-bound Wrexham by urging his underdogs to bully the league leaders out of their comfort zone.

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Dave Bayliss

The relegation-haunted Bluebirds face a mountainous task to beat a Wrexham side who lead the Conference Premier promotion pack having strung together a 10-match unbeaten league run over the past two months.

Wrexham also remained on course for a dream promotion and cup double on Saturday, when they booked their place in the FA Trophy final by securing a 4-3 aggregate win over Gainsborough, despite losing the second-leg tie 2-1.

While the reverse halted Wrexham’s 13-match unbeaten run, in all competitions, Bayliss insists his battlers will meet the task head-on when they attempt to avenge the heavy defeat they suffered at the Racecourse Ground in late September.

Bayliss, speaking ahead of the Holker Street clash (7.45pm), said: “We went to Wrexham and we didn’t get intimidated there – we got beat 3-0 but there wasn’t much in the game.

“Nobody expects us to win and we’re the underdogs again, so we’ve got to get right in their faces to stop them playing.”

Wrexham have won nine of their 17 Conference Premier away games this season – the best on-the-road victory record in the division. And with third-from-bottom Barrow seeking to finally propel themselves out of the bottom-four drop zone, Bayliss added: “Wrexham are a very good side and they’re top of the league for a reason as they’re currently the best team.

“So, it’s a game in which nobody expects anything from us, so we can go and relax, get at them and hopefully create another good midweek game at Barrow.”

Barrow’s leading 16-goal striker Adam Boyes is a big doubt for the game after missing Saturday’s goalless draw at Lincoln City with a calf injury. Bayliss’s number two, Ashley Hoskin rates Boyes’s chances of playing as less than 50 per cent with Barrow also set to host mid-table Tamworth on Saturday.

“Boyesy hasn’t trained and he’s struggling,” admitted Hoskin. “All the soreness in his calf has come out as it’s very badly bruised, but we’ll give him right up until the last minute.

“We’ve got to manage the injury professionally. Do we risk putting him back in the team, and then he maybe pulls up again and we lose him for another two weeks or, do we leave him out, give him another four days to recover and try and get him right for Saturday?”

Defensive duo Sean Hessey (flu) and Danny O’Donnell (shoulder injury) returned to the training ground yesterday but neither will play a part.

Meanwhile, Barrow are hunting for a new goalkeeper with reserve stopper Shaun Pearson set to embark on a six-month football adventure in the Adelaide area of Australia next month. It is understood the Welsh-born 22-year-old will be part of the Barrow squad for the final time tonight.

With only young keeper Ben Woodhead left to serve as back-up to number one Danny Hurst, Hoskin said: “Shaun’s a great kid as he travels from his Welsh home every week and never misses training.

“He always puts in a good shift and he’s a great lad, so he goes with our best wishes.

“As far as we know, Shaun will be involved in his final game tonight, so Dave and myself have been on the phone because we need to get another goalkeeper in.

“Ben has come in as cover a couple of times but we haven’t talked to him or identified a replacement, but I’m sure Bayles has got someone in mind – we don’t want to go into the Tamworth game without a substitute keeper.”

Pearson, who has made around 30 appearances for the Bluebirds since joining in the summer of 2010, will begin his journey Down Under, on March 10.

“A friend of mine plays football and works out there, and I’m going out there to hopefully do the same,” explained Pearson.

“I’m not sure I will be playing at the highest level and it will not be the equivalent level that I’m at now – it will be part-time football. I’ll also get a job through the team I’ll be playing for.

“I speak to my mate regularly and he said that I could go out there and he would fund it (pay for Pearson’s travel costs).

“I wasn’t too sure what I was doing next year with regard to staying or leaving Barrow. I just see this as an opportunity that I’ve always wanted, so it would be silly to turn it down.”

Have your say

Congratulations to Shaun. There is so many opportunities in Australia for young footballers like yourself. Goodluck. Only wish you were going to the Newcastle Jets in NSW. One day maybe. Barrow supporter from downunder.

Posted by Elaine Ward on 1 March 2013 at 11:52

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