Tai-Reece Chisholm is keen for Barnsley U23s to put two tough defeats behind them when they host Birmingham City on Friday afternoon.
The young Reds were unfortunate to lose at 1-0 Sheffield United, having dominated proceedings in Stocksbridge, before coming unstuck against Leeds United last week.
“The mood has been positive but, coming off the back of a defeat, we need to pick ourselves up ready to go again against Birmingham,” said Chisholm. “I think Leeds are the best team we’ve played, on and off the ball. How they moved the ball was decent with lots of rotation.
“We started very well in the first 20 or 25 minutes – we stopped them from playing. But the goal just before half-time is hard because they had their tails up and were ready to go again in the second half, and we just weren’t ready.”
Chisholm, the Reds’ leading scorer, took his tally to four for the season when he opened the scoring against Leeds.
The young midfielder, who joined Barnsley in the summer following a successful trial period, had previously been with Birmingham before moving to Oakwell and is looking forward to facing the Blues on Friday.
“I want to show them how much I’ve improved and why they should have kept me on, so hopefully I can play well and grab a goal,” continued Chisholm. “I was there for about five or six years, so it’ll be good to play against my old teammates who I played with for years.
“I’m still in contact with the boys who are still there. We’ve not spoken in terms of the game – most of them are my close friends, so we just talk on a daily basis.”
Richard Beale’s side are currently fourth in the Professional Development League North and had recorded back-to-back wins over Sheffield Wednesday and Nottingham Forest before last week’s defeat against Bolton Wanderers.
Victory for the Blues could see them climb to second, while Martin Devaney’s young team can leapfrog Hull City and Nottingham Forest with all three points at the Oakwell Training Complex.
However, in order to do so, Chisholm believes the Reds need to forget about the last two results and be more clinical in front of goal.
“I think they’ll be very direct,” said the 18-year-old. “Off the ball they’ll work hard and they can be ruthless. We can’t dwell on the two defeats we’ve had; we need to pick ourselves up. It’s at home, so it’s a good chance for us to impress everyone and, hopefully we’ll do well.
“We’ve played well in most of the games, it’s just getting it right in the final third. That’s what we’ve been working on in training – to be more ruthless – and, once we do that, I’m confident that we will do well this season.”
You can see how the young Reds fare by attending the game at the Oakwell Training Complex on Friday, kick-off at 2pm. Alternatively, you can follow the action on our official Academy Twitter account: AcademyBFC.