Marc Roberts caught up with the local media this morning, ahead of the Reds final pre-season friendlies!
Barnsley centre-half Marc Roberts feels that the Reds’ underdog label will be something they will be able to work to their advantage this season.
The Reds are embarking on their first season back in the second tier following promotion from League One last season.
The defender is hopeful the side will be able to surprise a number of opposition teams and produce a solid performance on their return to the Championship.
He said, “A lot of people will see us as underdogs and in many ways that will play in our favour, teams might come here and not give us the respect that we deserve and we’ll take advantage of that.
“Home form is massive, you saw last season the stadium was packed, the atmosphere must have been intimidating for the opposition so we need to pick up a lot of points at home.”
Roberts has impressed in pre-season and has proved a stalwart in the side, so he is hopeful of being able to secure himself a first team spot for another season.
He gave his assessment of pre-season so far and highlighted what he feels the Reds will have to do in order to strive at this level.
“Pre-season so far has been good and has been a test, we have had to step it up compared to last season but I’ve enjoyed it so far.
“We’ve got a good set of lads, we have players with lots of potential and if they can kick on, I don’t think we’ll have a problem.
“It’s now about getting that little bit of everything together, we need to tactically be more sound and we won’t change much because we already know what we’re good at, it’s about improving that.
“For the time being, it’s just about getting the new lads up to speed with how we train,” he added.
Roberts admitted that the Reds might not be the most experienced side at Championship level but believes what they lack in experience, they more than make up for in spirit. He thinks that will serve the Reds well on the opening weekend against Ipswich and hopes they can use that game as a springboard to push on from.
“We are an unknown quantity in that we don’t have much Championship experience but we have big potential to play at this level.
“Personally I want to test myself and improve myself as a player and Alfie Mawson is exactly the same, he wants to be better and we’re both up for the challenge.
“We want as many clean sheets as we can get. Not just me and Alfie but everyone who was in the squad at that time did well and Adam Davies made saves that kept us in games at times.
“You can only approach things one game at a time in this league because there are quality teams that could be our downfall but we’ll approach Ipswich the same.
“I don’t see why we can’t go there and win, we have quality in the squad to pose problems and we’ll go with positive mindset,” said Roberts.
Watch Robbo's exclusive full interview on Barnsley PlayerHD!