It was the Clarets' form in the League Cup which brought their season to life last year as a giant-killing run to the semi-finals coincided with a surge up the Championship table and eventual play-off glory at Wembley.
Prior to that they had been struggling at the bottom of the second tier after a poor start to the campaign, much like Barnsley, who parted company with manager Simon Davey last month after four defeats in their opening five games.
Mark Robins has been brought in as Davey's replacement and with the Tykes' results already improving, Coyle is all too aware of the additional boost a big scalp in the Carling Cup can provide.
"We recognise that Barnsley are similar to ourselves in many ways last season," said Coyle ahead of Tuesday's third-round tie.
"They are a Championship club, they haven't started the season the way they would have liked, but they have picked up in the last couple of games.
"We went on a run like that and the Carling Cup really ignited our season and went hand in hand with our Championship form. So we recognise that Barnsley might be looking at that and thinking this could be the catalyst to do that as well.
"But I want an extended run in this cup competition and to do that we are going to have to be at our very best."
Much has changed since Barnsley's victory in the teams' league encounter at Oakwell last season, but Coyle has not forgotten the challenges the Yorkshire side pose.
"We had a tough game against Barnsley in the Championship last year," he said.
"We were 3-0 down in very strange circumstances with some of the
decisions that were being made. But we showed our quality to come back into it at 3-2 with 20 minutes left - (Martin) Paterson came on and scored a double.
"Really, we should have had a positive result that night, we missed chance upon chance in the last 15 minutes or so. But we know better now.
"Barnsley have changed their manager, Mark Robins has come in and the players there will be desperate to show the new manager that they want to be a part of the future at that club. So we will be under no illusions about how difficult the game will be - we will have to be at our best."
Burnley seem to have settled comfortably in their new status as a Barclays Premier League club with three wins in their first three home games and the 10 changes Coyle made for the second-round tie against Hartlepool suggest his priorities may now lie elsewhere.
The players brought in on that occasion did the job required of them though - albeit after extra time - and Coyle insists the cup is no kind of burden to his ambitions.
"We don't see it as extra games - we see it as a lot fewer games than we were playing last year!" he said.
"It's not a hindrance for us, we just love playing football matches and we have a few members of the squad now, which provides the opportunity for some very good players to get a run out.
"It's always nice when you can keep everybody involved, because we know all the players want to play. Some are disappointed when they are not, but they show their professionalism and quality on the training ground and tomorrow is an opportunity for one or two who have not started the last few games.
"I love the cup - I just love football, and I love games. A night game under the lights is absolutely brilliant and even more so when you win.
"For the most part this season we are underdogs, but that won't be the case tomorrow with Barnsley being the Championship club.
We went to Hartlepool and were big favourites for that but it went on a lot longer than I wanted, so we know that when our chances come about, we have to take them."
New striker David Nugent will be unable to build on the two goals he scored on his home debut against Sunderland on Saturday as he is cup-tied, but Burnley will be without midfielder Chris McCann, who damaged medial knee ligaments during the match and is likely to be out for at least three months.
Burnley 6/5, Barnsley 2/1, Draw 11/5