Louis Wardle is looking for this spirited Barnsley U23s side to make it four wins from five games when they face Sheffield United on Monday afternoon.
The young Reds showed incredible determination to beat Professional Development League champions Bolton Wanderers 1-0 in their last outing, with Amir Berkovits scoring the only goal late on.
“We missed a penalty at 0-0 and didn’t let that get to us; we carried on ‘til the end and got our reward for it,” said Wardle. “We showed a lot of character – if this had happened at this stage last season, we might have folded as a team. But, with the lads we’ve got this year and the relationship that we’ve got, that helped us and got us over the line.
“At the minute, we’re playing with quite a bit of confidence because we’re getting good results and having good team performances, and everything is going for us at the moment.”
Martin Devaney’s side have been out of competitive action for a fortnight since their victory over the Trotters, but beat Huddersfield Town 2-0 in a midweek friendly.
It was important for the players to maintain match sharpness ahead of Monday’s trip to second place Blades, who are unbeaten in their last five games.
“I can’t wait for the derby,” continued Wardle. “I’m expecting it to be a tough game for us, but we’ll also make it tough for them. It’s a Yorkshire derby; that’s what those games are all about.
“I’m confident that we can get a result against anyone on our day, but we’ll have to see if the lads turn up.”
It was an indifferent start to the campaign for Wardle, who was sent off as Barnsley fell to a 2-0 defeat away to Cardiff City in August.
However, the long-serving, versatile and hard-working youngster believes he is now clicking through the gears, and that there is plenty of quality in the squad to contribute all over the pitch.
“I had a bit of a slow start to the season, but I think I’m doing well now,” said the 19-year-old.“I’m getting more games under my belt and feeling more confident every game.
“My versatility is a good benefit to the team, and it’s the same with quite a few of the lads. We haven’t got a big squad, as it is, and when we get injuries we’ve got lads who can fill in and do a job just as well as they could in their more normal position.”
You can find out by watching how our U23s fare in the Yorkshire derby against Sheffield United by either attending the game at Bracken Moor, Stocksbridge Park Steels or following live updates on our official Academy Twitter account: @AcademyBFC. Kick-off is at 2pm.