Forward discusses the Reds’ recent performances and why the Preston match this weekend will have extra meaning to the squad.
On the trip to Preston this weekend, Conor Chaplin feels it’ll be another tough game like any other Sky Bet Championship fixture, but one that the Reds are capable of winning.
“It’ll be tough, like every other game in the Championship. They’ve got a great home record and have started the season well. They also have some good young players, they’re similar to us, but maybe a couple of years further on in their journey. Their average age is probably two years above ours but it’s a similar thing that both clubs are trying to do. We’re looking to go there and win.”
After rescuing a deserved point in stoppage time on Wednesday night against Derby County, the Reds ended a run of three defeats. Over that time, there is a growing feeling that the performances haven’t got what is deserved, but also an acknowledgement from the squad that this has been largely due to self-inflicted mistakes.
Chaplin said: “There’s been certain elements of performances that have been good and some that haven’t, unfortunately that’s part and parcel of a young team, but we can’t use that as excuses. We’ve got to build on the late goal on Wednesday night and take that into the Preston game, so we can go into the international break with some confidence.
“I think it’s massive to keep confidence. It’s a young team that needs to learn quick because we want to stay in this division. We all want to be here, that’s players, coaches, staff and everyone at the club including the fans. We want to be in the Championship next year, it’s in our nature to battle and fight and we’ll go to Preston looking to pick up the points we need.”
On the goal itself – which was initially credited to Chaplin before replays showed Cauley Woodrow had the final touch – the forward said it didn’t matter who scored, as it not only meant the Reds had a vital point, but the goal has an extra meaning to it as well now.
“I’d like to think it’ll be a catalyst for more results, I don’t think the performances have been bad, but collectively as a team we’ve made too many mistakes that have led to goals. We need to stop that, then score more goals… I know it’s a cliché but it’s the hardest thing in football to score goals, but we showed against a good Derby side that we’re more than capable of doing that. Iron out the mistakes and we’ll get results.
“I’d like to go on record and say for everyone associated with Barnsley Football Club that the goal was a tribute to Jeffrey. Everyone is devastated that he passed away, all the lads have come together and want to make sure that the family are well looked after in such a sad moment. That goal was a reminder that we’re all together and it was a nice way to end such a tragic evening.
“Everything goes to one side when something like that happens. All of our thoughts are truly with Jeffrey’s family, that’s not just myself but from all the boys in the changing room, the coaches and all the staff at the club. Everyone wants to send their best wishes and it gives us that extra motivation to go to Preston and it would be a real tribute to him if we could get the points.”
The partnership between Chaplin and Woodrow is one that is catching the eyes of supporters and the pairing have been enjoying play up-top together over recent matches.
“I think it’s been good, we enjoy playing together, that’s a fact. We seem to get each other chances with our runs or passing each other the ball. When we’ve started together we’ve scored goals and that’s something you want in a strike force.”