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7 August 2022



7 August 2022

Making his full debut for the Reds, keeping a clean sheet and winning, it was a pretty good afternoon for summer recruit Conor McCarthy on Saturday against Cheltenham.

The Irishman was part of the Reds backline that kept out the Robins in the sunshine at Oakwell and helped Michael Duff's side secure their first three points of the campaign.

"An excellent day," beamed our centre-back. "To get my home debut at Oakwell - three points and a clean sheet is a bonus.

It was the first time the Reds contingent got to see McCarthy in league action at Oakwell, and he was full of praise for the Barnsley faithful.

"It was brilliant, absolutely brilliant," Conor told us. "The fans, from minute one to minute ninety-six, they didn't stop singing. I just hope that it continues for the rest of the season because over the course of the season we're really going to need them."

After entering the fray from the bench last Saturday at Plymouth, McCarthy started the game against Cheltenham and saw the game out to the final whistle.

Having a one-goal lead towards the back end of the game can be difficult both mentally and physically, the lactic acid building up in the legs after a tough shift, but McCarthy felt his body responded to the test: "As the 70th minute passed, I started to feel a little bit leggy," admitted the Irishman.

"That's the joys of being a footballer. Nothing comes easy, so hopefully in the next couple of weeks if the manager selects me I'll build up that fitness."

As well as the physical challenges that holding out a lead can bring, the mental focus required in bringing a successful outcome as the Reds experienced on Saturday is well documented.

However, the work the gaffer has been doing on the mental side of the game has benefitted McCarthy and his teammates: "To be fair to the manager he has been really excellent with us," he said.

"He has brought in a winning mentality - he's brought in that togetherness into the group. We just had to trust in ourselves today, trust in each other, to get that 1-0 and we did."

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