Former West Ham ace Dean Ashton on why Barnsley deserve to beat Portsmouth and Sunderland to League One promotion

Pompey and Barnsley are fighting for League One automatic promotion
Pompey and Barnsley are fighting for League One automatic promotion
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Dean Ashton has given his views on the League One automatic promotion race – and it’s not good news for Pompey.

The ex-West Ham and Norwich striker has claimed Barnsley deserve to finish in the top two this term.

Pompey, the Tykes and Sunderland all remain in with a shout of sealing automatic promotion to the Championship.

Leaders Luton have still to seal their spot in the second tier after last night’s draw with AFC Wimbledon. 

Kenny Jackett’s troops sit third in the table, two points off second-placed Barnsley with a game in hand.

Meanwhile, the Black Cats are four points off the top two but have also played a game less then Daniel Stendel’s men.

But EFL on Quest pundit, Ashton, has thrown his backing behind Barnsley to reach the Championship without having to worry about the play-offs.

The 35-year-old pinpointed a consistent run over the course of the season as a reason behind why they deserve to finish in the top two.

And Ashton has been impressed with how Barnsley have coped since losing top scorer Kieffer Moore for the season through injury back in February.

Although he feels either Pompey or Sunderland could pip them to automatic promotion.

Speaking to www.footballleagueworld.co.uk, Ashton said: ‘It’s really difficult to call League One. All of the sides up there have been on a good run, then have fallen away and regained their form.

'I think out of all of them, Barnsley perhaps deserve to join Luton in the top two, just because they have put a consistent run together and they lost their top scorer along the way.

'That can hurt a side but for them to still be right in there after that, you have to say they deserve it, but I’ve got a feeling they might just miss out.’