Barnsley U23s host Hull City on Friday afternoon looking to build on last week’s South Yorkshire derby victory over Sheffield Wednesday.
Stunning goals from Victor Adeboyejo and Louis Wardle ensured the young Reds ended a run of four straight defeats, and Cameron Simpson insists the three points was crucial for morale amongst the players.
“The atmosphere is much better; people are more confident and talking more now,” said the young left-back. “It’s just a better atmosphere in general. We worked hard as a team, in general, and kept pressing Wednesday back and frustrated them.
“Then we got that bit of luck that we probably haven’t had in other games – we scored two great goals and it was a really good team performance.
“It really boosts the team, especially with it being a local derby. To get a win like that is good for the morale of the team and it will help going into the Hull game on Friday.”
Simpson had been side-lined through injury since the start of September after picking up a knock at Crystal Palace. The youngster made his return against Burnley a fortnight ago and completed 70 minutes at Hillsborough as he continues his recovery.
However, the 18-year-old – in his first full campaign at U23s level – is enjoying the physical challenge of playing with an older age group and feels it will be beneficial for his development.
“It’s been hard being injured and on the bench, but when you get your chance you’ve got to take it to try and keep your place,” continued Simpson.
“I think I’m doing alright. The tempo is much quicker and it’s a lot more physical but I think the more I play and the more minutes I get, the better I’ll become. It’s better than under 18s football because you’re sometimes up against pros, so it’s a good experience.”
The Tigers head into this fixture on the back of five straight defeats – the latest a 3-2 loss at home to Crewe Alexandra last week.
Jon Beale’s side are currently bottom of the Professional Development League North, and Barnsley can pull further clear and potentially climb one place in the table with victory on Friday.
“Hull are struggling, like us, so it’ll be a tough game but it’s a good opportunity for us to get back-to-back wins,” insisted Simpson. “If we go at them from the start, I think we can take the game to them. With us being at home, we should be able to do that and get the win.
“We’ve trained well this week and I’m confident of us getting a good result.”
You can find out how Martin Devaney’s side fare by attending the game at the Oakwell Training Complex, kick-off at 2pm. Alternatively, you can follow the action on our official Academy Twitter account: @AcademyBFC.