Steve McClaren feels Derby County's players need to use their recent disappointing results as motivation to finish the season on an upward trajectory..
The Rams are without a win in their last six league fixtures and McClaren has described the last month as both disappointing and inconsistent.
With a dozen games of the 2016/17 season remaining, the Rams are 10 points off the playoff places.
Ahead of Saturday’s clash at Pride Park Stadium, the 55-year-old former England manager wants his side to ensure they have a more positive March.
“We have got to give a reaction because we’ve just lost back-to-back games.
“We have lost matches before and generally we’ve given a response. We’re disappointed, frustrated and angry about losing two in a row.
“We can’t make it a third, which is why we feel we need to win; it’s a must win for us on Saturday.
“It’s the same every week, we want to win, but every team at some stage has a bad run or a bad month.
“February, which was an inconsistent month for us in lots of ways, is gone now and we have to make sure March is a better one for us. We have to use the anger, disappointment and frustration to make sure that is the case.”
Despite the recent run of results, the Rams gaffer is adamant that his squad have the capabilities to embark upon another good run of form and hopes to see the targets he's set reached before the end of the season which will help him learn about the calibre of the players in his squad.
He said: “This is where you learn about your team and your characters. You learn in adversity who you can rely on and that has been an interesting month looking back.
“Everything is about the short-term and the future. We have set the players a target with 12 games to go and what we want to do is finish the season strong and well.
“We’ve set out a mini-league and for us it’s about trying to finish top of that table. We’re capable of winning games and going on a run like we have done previously.
“If you can win three matches in a week it can change the picture completely. At the present moment, we haven’t looked like doing that and that is frustrating.”
The Reds turned the Rams over at the beginning of the season with a 2-0 home victory and McClaren has been impressed with what he has seen from Paul Heckingbottom’s side so far this season.
He said: “Barnsley have had a terrific season and this won’t be an easy one at all.
"They went to Aston Villa recently and got an excellent win, which shows exactly what they are capable of.
"They lost a few players in January but they replaced them very well and have continued to get results.”
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