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Interviews

U23s PREVIEW: Reds Vs Blades

6 December 2018

Barnsley U23s host Sheffield United on Friday afternoon aiming to secure back-to-back victories having beaten Sheffield Wednesday last time out.

The young Reds were scheduled to play Hull City a fortnight ago, but, due to unforeseen circumstances, the game was postponed.

While that break hasn’t been ideal for rhythm, Berkovits insists he and his teammates are eager to hit the ground running when the Blades visit the Oakwell Training Complex.

“Momentum is good at the moment because Sheffield Wednesday are a good team,” said the young winger. “We played great football in that game and we hope we can put the same effort in against Sheffield United to get another result.

“We’re looking forward to the game; we haven’t played for a while. When we played them earlier in the season, we lost but we should have won.”

Martin Devaney’s side lost 1-0 in the reverse fixture at Stocksbridge Park Steels back in October, but were left wondering how they left without at least a point after missing a number of gilt-edge opportunities.

It was a magnificent performance, on the whole, from the Reds, who have just lacked the Midas touch on occasions this campaign.

“The team is capable of doing good performances; we’ve shown that through the season in a couple of games,” continued Berkovits. “That was a really good performance, we just need to be more ruthless to finish the chances we have and hopefully we can be more clinical on Friday.

“It’s a big problem for us at the moment, not being ruthless because we do create a lot of chances, but we’re just not scoring. Hopefully, from now, the goals will start coming.”

It has been an indifferent campaign for Berkovits, who has two goals to his name so far but has struggled for consistency in between flashes of brilliance.

However, with his fellow academy teammates Will Smith and Jordan Helliwell recently making their first team debuts, the inspiration is there for the tricky winger to kick on and continue his progression. 

“Personally, I don’t think I’m having the best season – I should be scoring more, assisting more and getting higher stats,” admitted Berkovits. “I need to get the confidence back to play how I was last season and the season before.

“I’m still a first year but you see a lot of 18, 19-year-olds playing in the first team all over the world so you want to get there as quickly as possible.

“You see that the Gaffer looks at young players and he obviously cares about the academy. It gives us motivation to know that you’re capable of going to the first team and doing good things.”

The Yorkshire derby kicks off at 2pm and it is free entry at the Oakwell Training Complex. Alternatively, you can follow the action on our official Academy Twitter account: @AcademyBFC.


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