Having recently reached the 50 appearance mark for Barnsley, Callum Brittain says his time with the club has ‘flown past’.
Our dynamic full-back arrived at Oakwell from MK Dons last October and was completely unfazed by the step-up to Sky Bet Championship football, immediately becoming a key component in the Reds’ squad that finished fifth.
The experience gained from reaching the play-offs will only be beneficial for Brittain and the rest of the team, and the 23-year-old is already targeting the next milestone.
“It went really quick; it’s flown past,” he reflected. “It’s a bit unbelievable, really. Obviously, last season was unbelievable and we’ve made a good start to this season so, hopefully, to many more.
“It popped up on Twitter before the game and I thought ‘Really, already?’ but I kind of thought it was going to come around the corner eventually because I played nearly every game last year, so it was a bit of a surprise so early on, but a nice one.
“Last season was my first time playing at this level, so I learnt a lot in terms of the step-up and being competitive. Making the play-offs was massive for the club and, for me, it was a massive achievement to be part of the play-offs and playing in them.
“It’s been a really good year for me and the boys and the club, so long may that continue.”
The Reds have made a steady start to the 21/22 campaign, with six points accumulated from the opening five fixtures representing a decent return.
Of course, there is the feeling of ‘what if?’ after letting leads slip against Queens Park Rangers and Birmingham City, but there are plenty of positives to take from the first month.
“I think we’ve played very well – we’ve obviously drawn more than we’d like; we just need to turn the draws into wins and, hopefully, that will come in the next couple of games,” insisted Brittain, who is enjoying the current tactics employed by Head Coach, Markus Schopp.
“It’s a different playing style, a different intensity and different formations. I’ve had a few managers, now, in my career so it’s been different, but it’s been good.
“I think last year it was more front foot pressing, everything was forward and more channel balls, whereas this year I’d like to think I have more responsibility on the ball to make things happen.
“We drop into a back four, in possession, and sometimes he’s asked me to come into midfield, sometimes he’s asked me to drop back as a right back, so there’s a variety of different roles and I’m really enjoying it.”
With new additions also set to come into the fold, Brittain believes that Barnsley will continue to go from strength to strength as the season goes on.
Claudio Gomes, Aaron Leya Iseka, Obbi Oularé and Rémy Vita are all yet to feature for the Reds, and our full-back is confident that they can add the required quality to help us achieve more positive results.
“We’ve still got Obbi to come in, we’ve still got Claudio to come in, we’ve still got Aaron to come in, who all look very good in training,” he reasoned. “It’s good to get their visas done – it took a while – but I’m excited for them to come in and see what they’re about.
“It’s about getting that resilience back. We’ve been in front in certain games and we just need to be resilient enough to not concede goals. That will come – it’s early days, we’ve made a solid start to the season and, hopefully, we can keep going.”