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Conor Hourihane at heart of Barnsley’s rise from bottom of table to Wembley

A remarkable change in results has taken the Yorkshire side from a possible relegation battle to the League One play-off final against Millwall

As the season moved towards the halfway point it looked likely that Barnsley would not be in League One next season. That notion has not changed but the direction in which they could be leaving has. On 28 November they were rock bottom of the table, a calamitous run of eight straight defeats seemingly dumping them into a relegation battle. On Sunday they face Millwall in the play-off final at Wembley, 90 minutes away from promotion to the Championship. As turnarounds go, it is not bad.

From New Year’s Day Barnsley played 23 games and won 15 of them, the same number as Burnley and Northampton, who won their respective divisions. Such has been the power of the shift in form, the prospect of staying in the division has gone from being the height of their ambitions to a huge disappointment.

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