Speaking following the Reds’ 3-2 pre-season friendly victory over DSC Arminia Bielefeld, Luke Thomas says he was delighted to get amongst the goals for his new club.
The summer signing arrived at Oakwell from Derby County and proved to be the match winner in Barnsley’s final fixture in Germany as he turned home Conor Chaplin’s cross at the far post.
“It’s good to get a goal in any game, whether it’s a league game or a friendly – it’s good for my confidence,” insisted Thomas. “I thought it was a really good game; the lads were excellent from start to finish and it was very enjoyable.
“The front four has got some quality players. Conor has been brought in, and Cauley [Woodrow] and Mallik [Wilks] are both top players as well, but the link up was good and we all worked well with each other. It’s something that we’ve worked on in training and in order to create opportunities for us all.”
There is plenty of versatility within the Reds’ attacking personnel, with numerous players capable of playing anywhere along the frontline and interchanging positions during the game.
In addition to Jacob Brown, Jordan Green and Mamadou Thiam, who were at Oakwell during Barnsley’s Sky Bet League One promotion winning campaign last term, Thomas has been joined by Chaplin, Wilks and George Miller to help bolster Daniel Stendel’s dynamic, offensive arsenal.
“I strive off competition, I don’t think there’s anything better than having another lad there to make you work for your place,” continued Thomas. “At Barnsley, we’ve got very tough competition and if you get a starting place on Saturday, you know you’ve worked hard for it.”
The Reds have won all four pre-season friendlies so far, overcoming Stalybridge Celtic, SC Toulon and VfL Bochum prior to the impressive display against Bielefeld at the weekend.
That has led to plenty of optimism within the camp ahead of the new Championship campaign as Barnsley aim to continue their preparations with a stern examination against South Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United on Saturday, and Thomas insists his side will make it tough for their Premier League visitors.
“The Sheffield United game will be a good test to play in front of our home fans and show them what we’re all about,” said the 20-year-old.
“I think you need to respect any team, no matter what level they’re at, you need to work hard to get the win. They won’t come to Oakwell and think that they’re going to beat us or thrash us, but we’re certainly going to give teams a good game.”