BARNSLEY manager Simon Davey has urged the club's supporters to lay off his players ahead of today's home game with Norwich City.

The Tykes are desperate for a victory after an abysmal start to the season which has left the club sitting rock bottom of the Championship table with only four points from the first seven games.

To make matters worse, today's visitors Norwich are also regarded as a bogey side at Oakwell, having won the last six meetings between the two clubs.

Davey, a hero last season when steering Barnsley to the FA Cup semi-finals, is under increasing pressure to get things right, but says the supporters also have an important role to play.

"It is the modern trend in football for supporters to voice their opinions," he said. "I will take the criticism and the pressure, if it comes, but I don't want the supporters getting on the backs of the players.

"Players who are nervous make mistakes," he added. "They are the ones who have to go out and perform so we need the supporters right behind them and hopefully we can give them a performance they deserve."

Davey enjoys the luxury of having virtually a full-strength squad at his disposal – only loan striker Maceo Rigters (hamstring) and reserve striker Michael Coulson (knee) are still missing.

Both Anderson De Silva and Heinz Muller returned last week after recovering from cruciate knee ligament operations while Argentinian Hugo Colace has played the last three games in midfield after the lengthy delay in obtaining his international clearance.

Encouraged by last weekend's goalless draw at Southampton, Davey's side can now be judged more fairly. "Results state that we cannot be happy with the way things have gone so far, but it is great to have so many quality players available and now it is time to pick a team to go out and win a game," he said. "If we can get the right result, things will turn around very quickly. That first away point has given us a platform to build on."

Norwich will leave their traditional yellow shirts at home to play in a new all-black away kit for the first time. Davey will hope that the Reds make it a black day for the visitors on the pitch in every respect.
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Ian Wilkinson

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