Barnsley captain Conor Hourihane feels the side must regroup quickly and “return to the drawing board” following this afternoon’s 2-0 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion.
Glenn Murray’s brace saw the Reds slip to consecutive Championship defeats for the first time in 2016.
Hourihane admitted that the Reds were always likely to be up against it and sees the game as a positive step forward as the Reds continue to find their feet in the Championship.
He said: “It was a tough day, they are a good side and they’ll definitely be up there at the end of the season. They have some good players but I thought we had a lack of energy today.
“Our game is all about energy and pressing the ball and if you give good players like those guys time, they can hurt you.
“It will be a good learning curve for us, they’ll be there or there abouts come the end of the season without a doubt.
“You want to test yourself against these kind of teams, they’re well organised and pass the ball around really well and there are a lot of things in their game that we can definitely take out.
“I felt like we did not start the game too badly but we fell behind to an early counter attack but that’s the quality they have.
“Now it’s back to the drawing board, we have to dust ourselves down because we have Aston Villa on Tuesday night and we must go again.”
The Reds grew into the game in the closing stages, fashioning chances through Adam Armstrong, Josh Scowen and Hourihane himself.
He hopes they can cut out the errors that led to the goals and build on their final 20 minutes and take it into Tuesday night’s match with Villa.
“They had a good counter attack for the first goal, second goal came from a set piece which I didn’t think was a foul at all but they get given and you still have to defend them, and we didn’t.
“You always have to go until the end, no matter what is going on. I felt in the last 20 minutes we passed the ball better and created some chances and if we nicked one it might have been a different story, but it wasn’t to be,” he added.
Hourihane praised the efforts of the fans, who stayed at the AMEX until the very end, cheering the Reds off the field and giving them a standing ovation.
The Irish midfielder feels their support will help the squad regroup quickly ahead of Tuesday’s match against the Villans.
“The fans will follow us through thick and thin throughout the season,” he said. “There will be some highs and some lows, we started off really well but now we’ve suffered back-to-back defeats, which does not happen to us too often.
“We really have to get together now and pick ourselves up again on Tuesday.
“They’re all tough games in this league, no matter who you are going to play and we have to be ready for Tuesday night.”
Watch Conor Hourihane's full reaction on !Barnsley Player HD