Pushing Chelsea close in the FA Cup and becoming the first team since October to beat Brentford has earned Barnsley many plaudits heading into tonight’s game.

The Reds moved level on points with Rovers after their success against the Bees on Sunday, their first three points of 2021, having been edged out at Oakwell by Chelsea in the FA Cup last Thursday.

While Rovers have been seen as underachieving, Barnsley’s 39 points has been seen as a mark of their success, but Mowbray puts that down to perception.

Barnsley have built on a fine end to last season, that saw them pull well clear of the dropzone having looked doomed for the drop late in 2019, to move into the security of mid-table.

On his view of tonight’s hosts, Mowbray said: “I like Barnsley, they’re a good team, they’ve got an identity, they play with a lot of intensity, extremely good out of possession.

“It’s an interesting perception that they’re doing really well, and yet they’re on the same points as us. I’m not sure whether they’re doing really well or not, I’m not sure what their expectation is.

“I don’t know what their local paper says and what the feeling is in Barnsley, are they doing well or are they doing poorly? I don’t know.

“I can judge them as a professional football team who I think play with a lot of intensity and I think they have some very talented young guys in their team who can win matches. They’re a dangerous team in this league.”

Mowbray has been left frustrated by Rovers’ inconsistency, an unbeaten January followed by back-to-back defeats to start February. Equally, 11 points from a possible 15 in November, including a 2-1 win over Barnsley, was followed by just two wins from eight December fixtures.

Asked what he felt the perception of his side was, Mowbray added: “I know what my perception is, I think we’re a very good team, very talented, play with high intensity at our best and try and win games.

“I have tried to build an expectation this year that the players expected to be at the top end of the table, a chance to make the play-offs and I think a lot of teams feel that.

“We’re allowed to get frustrated and disappointed.

“There are no supporters in the stadium, the team is playing every three days, there’s not much time to prepare your team, especially when you have injuries, and that’s every team.

“There are lots of different reasons, they might be excuses, I don’t know.”