Adam Davies believes this current Barnsley side is showing similarities to the team that won promotion from Sky Bet League One in 2016.
The Reds occupy one of the four play-off spots heading into Tuesday evening’s clash with Plymouth Argyle, and the Reds’ current longest-serving player feels that the character and spirit within the camp could be crucial to a successful campaign.
“There’s definitely similarities to what we had a couple of years ago, but every team is different and there’s different characters in each group,” said the 26-year-old goalkeeper.
“It’s obviously not the same, but there’s a good team spirit there and I think you can see that; we were one down at the weekend, but we fought back and stuck together and had a gritty performance in the second half to see the game out at the end.
“It was a great result; we weren’t great for the first 20 or 30 minutes, but after we got the goal we controlled the game really well and everyone was really happy.
“They’re tough places to go – places like Fleetwood and Rochdale – and we’ve gone there and got good results, so it’s nice to do that and put a statement out there that we mean business. It’s a long season and we just have to keep trying to do that.”
Barnsley head into the game against Arglye with the best defensive record in League One, while the Pilgrims, along with Bradford City, have the joint-worst goals for statistic.
Derek Adams’ men have found the net just seven times this season, and Davies will be looking for his fifth clean sheet of the campaign against the league’s bottom side.
However, the Reds’ goalkeeper insists it is not just himself and the defence that deserve credit for the team’s solidity – every player contributes to ensure opposition chances are kept to a premium.
“I think it’s the way we set up – it’s not just the back four and the goalkeeper; it’s the whole team that is defending,” continued Davies. “It starts from the front two or three, depending on the formation that we play, and the pressing that we’ve implicated into most of the games except Coventry where we weren’t aggressive enough.
“It doesn’t give them a chance to get near our goal and we’ve limited a lot of teams to just a few chances each game, so a lot of it has been down to the formation and the way we have been pressing teams.”
Despite Plymouth currently propping up the third tier, Davies asserts that Barnsley will not be taking things lightly at Oakwell on Tuesday.
The Pilgrims had a similar start to the previous campaign and made a stunning late rally for the play-offs, only to narrowly miss out by three points.
“You have to earn the right to win in every game of football; you can’t just turn up and win,” said Davies. “I’m sure we’ll be the favourites to win, but, like I said, you’ve got to earn it, you’ve got to win your battles, do the nitty-gritty stuff and take your opportunities when they come.”