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Roberts on Return Leg at Walsall

17 May 2016

Commanding centre-back Marc Roberts spoke with the media ahead of Thursday night’s trip to Walsall for the Play-Off second leg.

Barnsley-born, Roberts knows how important the turnaround in league fortune has been for the Reds fans and now wants to continue the good form.


“We’re in a good position but, we’ve got to approach the game like it’s nil-nil,” he explained. “That’s got to be our mentality and we need to approach it like we would any other league game; going there to win the game.


“If we went there with the mind-set that we’ve got a three goal advantage that would be our downfall and I’m sure that Hecky and Tommy have been talking about that and will set us up right like they do every other game. I’m sure we’ll be prepared for whatever they (Walsall) throw at us.”


Roberts was asked his feelings about having a 3-0 lead from the first-leg and if he predicted a score like that.


“I would have bit your hand off!” He quipped. “We’ve got a fantastic squad of players. Although we haven’t been scoring enough goals we have been performing really well of late and I think that shows in our form. We’ve got Winnall, Hammill and Hourihane, some great creative players and it was only a matter of time before we scored goals.


“It’s come at the right time and we were very clinical on the day, now hopefully we can go there on Thursday and produce a similar performance and keep it solid. If we win on the day it’ll be fantastic.”


He continued, “There’s always that one team every year that nicks the Play-Off spot! The momentum helps. It’s not a ‘late’ surge, we’ve been on a good run of form for quite a few months. We’ve not done anything differently, we’ve stuck to our jobs and that won’t change come Thursday.


“We’ve had a couple of seasons rolled into one, we’ve had everything. We went through a really rough patch and if anything that might have helped the character of the lads. It shows the squad we’ve got. We stuck together and haven’t changed much, we’ve just stuck to what we know. We’ve tweaked a few things and its come good in the end."


Roberts has been part of a defence that has kept four clean sheets in the last six games and he spoke of his partnership with fellow defender Alfie Mawson.


“We’ve just clicked.” He said. “We’re good friends off the pitch, we get on and socialise off the pitch which helps. Our little group of back four are tight-knit, which helps. Having Conor and Browny sat in front, two of the best midfielders in the league makes our job a lot easier! Then you’ve got the quality going forward. Those lads pretty much make our job easy on the day."


Roberts’ final words were to reflect on what has been a rollercoaster first season for him.


He stated, “Barnsley is a big club, there’s always a bit of expectation. We were bottom at Christmas and that was definitely below expectations, then from there the plan was just to do as well as we can. It’s helped not having as much expectation and that snowballed, we’re in the position we’re in and long may that continue.”

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