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Dougall: "We have to be prepared."

30 August 2018

Kenny Dougall is expecting a tough encounter when Gillingham visit Oakwell on Saturday.

The Gills are currently ninth in the Sky Bet League One table with two wins from their opening five fixtures and, in Tom Eaves, have a striker in red hot form.

With four goals to his name so far this season, the 26-year-old former Yeovil Town forward is one of the league’s top marksmen – alongside Barnsley’s Kieffer Moore.

“I haven’t seen much of them to be fair but, like any team in this league, they will fight and compete,” insisted Dougall. “We have to be prepared and start straight away like we have in the first couple of games.”

Last weekend’s draw with Scunthorpe United was the first time the Reds had trailed in a league game this campaign, but goals from Moore and Dimitri Cavaré ensured Daniel Stendel’s side claimed a share of the spoils.

However, Dougall believes that the team showed great character to come from behind and feels Barnsley perhaps should have gone onto secure victory at Glanford Park.

“It was the first time this season where we’ve had to dig deep and really grind a result out,” continued the 25-year-old. “Obviously, going two goals down wasn’t great – a couple of defensive mistakes cost us there, but I think we equalised with over 20 minutes to go, so there was actually a lot of time for us to get the win.

“Unfortunately it didn’t come, but the squad dug deep to get the draw and it’s a long season, so hopefully that will benefit us going forward.”

Dougall has hit the ground running since joining Barnsley from Sparta Rotterdam this summer, with a number of impressive displays at the heart of midfield.

His form for the Reds has not gone unnoticed at international level and has resulted in a deserved call-up to Australia’s latest training camp in Turkey.

“It’s great to get called up for your country, for me it’s the first time so I’m excited and I’m obviously delighted,” said Dougall. “I haven’t actually spoke to the boss yet; I’ll do that in the training camp.

“There was a little bit of interest last season, but a new gaffer has come in so maybe he wants to have a look at some new players and he gets the chance to do it in this window.

“It’s disappointing that there’s no game because, as footballers, that’s what you want to do – you want to play and get caps for your nation. But, either way, training will be good – it’ll be hard work, but I’m really looking forward to it.”

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