Marc Roberts spoke to the assembled media at Oakwell today ahead of tomorrow night's Championship fixture..
The Reds centre-half started by referring to the solidity in the defence at present and hailed the performances of his teammates in keeping three clean sheets in the last four league fixtures.
It’s about the team, he said: “We look for clean sheets, the entire back four, back five including the ‘keeper, the whole team really. We think if we can keep a clean sheet we’ve got a great chance of scoring because we’ve definitely got the quality going forward.
“As a base it gives us the chance then to go on and score goals. If we can keep things tight - and we work on these things all the time in training – by pressing from the front, keeping them out at the back, then we fancy our chances in any game.”
Despite the clean sheets gained recently, the Reds haven’t quite been the free-scoring side they were earlier in the season. It’s about striking the right balance according to ‘Robbo’ but he believes there’s more than enough talent in the Barnsley squad to find that necessary blend between the transition of defence and attack.
“We’re one of those sides at the minute I think, where we’re either drawing 0-0 or winning 3-2 or whatever. It’s tough to get that balance at times, it can be frustrating but right now so long as we’re not conceding and not losing then we can't grumble really, we’re doing our jobs.”
The Barnsley-born defender thinks that another factor that certainly played a part last time out against Wigan Athletic at Oakwell was the respect shown by the visitors in terms of their approach to the game. It’s not the first time this season that the opposition have shut up shop.
“We’ve seen that a few times now I think” he said. “Especially last weekend. But I think it’s testament to the great work that’s gone on at the Club. We surprised teams early on and now we can see teams coming and paying us more respect. I expected Wigan to come here and have a go at us, especially if you consider how we both came up together last season, but they didn’t.
“It was then up to us to break them down but fair play to them, they set up for a clean sheet and they got it. But it is what it is. We move on now, we’re focused on Friday.”
It has been a rollercoaster ride for everyone connected with the Club over the past 18 months, with Marc being no exception. It has been an incredible journey for the former Halifax man.
“I think the fans have been spoilt to be fair! But no, it’s been good for the Club the last year or so because for a few years before that they weren’t doing so good. In terms of myself it’s been some rise and I’m proud of what I’ve achieved.
“I think I’ve stood up to the test well so far. I hope I can keep on improving, keep proving myself and this is a great place to do that. To be playing in non-league as I was, you can’t help wondering if it’ll ever happen but I’m proper thankful that Barnsley took the chance on me.”
In terms of tomorrow night’s fixture under the lights at Oakwell as the Reds welcome Nottingham Forest in front of the Sky cameras, Robbo is confident of a positive result.
“I’m always confident” he stated. “You have to be. I’m not bothered who I’m up against, I back myself no matter the opponent. Forest have got a couple of decent results recently but if we are on our game, if we turn up like we can do then I think we’ll be a nightmare for them.”
You can see the full interview with Marc Roberts over on Barnsley Player HD.
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