IT’S hard to believe it’s more than  six years since our last meeting  with Barnsley.

And believe me, our defeat in the  League I play-off semi-final still  rankles!

We played really well at their  place to gain a 1-0 advantage  through Gary Taylor-Fletcher.

But it all went badly wrong back  at ours, when they won 3-1 to book  a final clash with  Swansea at the  Millennium  Stadium.

I still think it  should have been  us that went  through.

We should have  been more than a  goal to the good  from the first leg.

Perhaps we were  that little bit  complacent in the  second, but we still  got it back to 2-2  on aggregate when  Jon Worthington  scored, and from  there, we should  have gone on to  win, but ended up  losing 3-1.

Barnsley went on to beat  Swansea on penalties in the final,  and they’ve been in the  Championship ever since,  something we need to emulate  having finally got out of League I  after so long trying.

It will be good to go back to  Oakwell on Saturday, and there’s  always an edge to games between  their pair of us.

It’s seldom an  easy ground to  visit – the crowd  are close up and it  can be quite  partisan – but we’ll  take plenty of  support over there,  including all those  doing the Walk For  Pounds 2 to raise  funds for the Keep  It Up campaign.

Having done  such a good job at  Rochdale, Keith  Hill has built  a strong Barnsley  side who are  capable of beating  anyone in the  division on their  day – but then so  are we!

JORDAN RHODES will be  back in town tomorrow – and  I’m sure you’ll give him a  great reception!

He deserves it in my opinion  because he was a superb player for  Huddersfield Town on the pitch and  a fantastic ambassador off it.

You’d have to go a long way to  meet a nicer bloke, and one who  conducts himself so well, but when  he gets out on the field, he’s still a  ruthless finisher.

When Neil Warnock was  managing Town, he used to get on at  me to develop a nastier side to my  nature, but Jordan proves you don’t  have to be that way to succeed.

You seldom see him commit fouls  or get booked, yet just look at his  goalscoring record.

I played alongside a lot of different  strikers, but Jordan has to be right up  there in terms of his ability.

He has that priceless habit of being  in the right place at the right time,  and that’s not down to luck, because  he works very hard on the training  ground.

He’s also able to score with either  foot and his head, and I see that at  Blackburn so far, he’s often operated  as a lone striker, which means he is  developing another side to his  game.

We were all disappointed to see  him leave, especially for another club  in our division, but it was a good deal  for all parties, and we should also  respect Jordan’s right to decide what  was the correct move for him.

Plenty of people said he should  have gone to the Premier League, but  I don’t think a season in the  Championship will do him any  harm, because he will get regular  football, which might not have been  the case in the top flight.

It will be funny to see Jordan lining  up against us, and now we have to  work out a way of stopping him and  the rest of what is a pretty strong  Blackburn team.

Hopefully Simon Grayson will be  able to use his first-hand knowledge  of Jordan to put the brakes on him in  what is a really big game.

Blackburn have picked up after an  up-and-down start and their new  manager Henning Berg will be  looking for a strong beginning after  his return to the club he served so  well as a player.

But when Wolves came to out  place, we showed we can cut against  a team who were in the Premier last  season, and I’m really looking  forward to the match.

Like I said earlier, please give  Jordan a great welcome back – then  shout us on to what would be a  fantastic victory!

WELL done to our  two neighbours on  making the  quarter-finals of the  Capital One Cup.

I know there’s  rivalry between  ourselves, Leeds  and Bradford.

But I like to see  all three West  Riding clubs doing  well.

Bradford have  had a tough time of  it in the last few  years, but they  pulled off a great  win at Wigan and  were rewarded with  a lucrative home  quarter-final clash  with Arsenal.

If that game is  half as entertaining  as the Gunners’ 7-5  clash with Reading  than it will be well  worth watching.

Meanwhile Leeds  will host Chelsea  after seeing off  Southampton, and  that’s a challenge  Neil Warnock will  relish!