Barnsley U23s host Crewe Alexandra on Friday afternoon looking to build on last week’s morale-boosting 1-0 win over Coventry City.
The young Reds emerged victorious over the Sky Blues courtesy of Tai-Reece Chisholm’s second goal of the season, and skipper Will Smith is urging his side to kick-start their Professional Development League campaign in earnest.
“It was a massive confidence boost; I think the lads have deserved a win in the last four games,” said Smith. “We’ve had some unlucky results and some where we’ve not been good enough.
“But it’s good that we’ve got a win now and I think we can kick on, and there’s more confidence in the dressing room after the win.”
As well as securing all three points for the first time under Martin Devaney, the young Reds also kept their first clean sheet of the new campaign.
Having shipped 12 goals in the opening four games, Smith believes Barnsley showed great strength of character to repel everything that Coventry threw at them and that it will stand them in good stead as the season progresses.
“The clean sheet was very important and we can build from it now,” continued the youngster. “We know we can win games and see out games with clean sheets too in a full team performance with everyone wanting to defend. So it was good to get a clean sheet as a defender, a back four and for the goalkeeper as well.”
Crewe picked up their first win of the campaign on Monday as they beat Queens Park Rangers 3-1 at Gresty Road.
Goals from Oliver Finney, Joe Lynch and Malachi Linton were enough for Alex Morris’ side to claim all three points as the climbed back above Barnsley and off the foot of the table.
However, the Reds will be looking for revenge this time around after Crewe scored two late goals to come from behind and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in the last meeting back in April.
“I think we can win; I think we can win easily if everyone does it right and we all put in the same work ethic as we did in the last game [against Coventry],” insisted Smith. “It’s just piecing it all together and getting it right, and that’s what we need to do in every game.
“We beat them [Crewe] at home last season so we can do it again. I think we can do it comfortably if everyone is on it.”
You can watch how the young Reds fair on Friday by attending the game on the main Oakwell pitch. Entry is FREEin the West Stand ONLY. Kick-off is at 2pm.
Alternatively, you can follow the game on our official Academy Twitter account: @AcademyBFC.