Writer: Vital Tyke
Date:Friday September 5 2014
With the International break upon us, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to assess Barnsley`s start to life in League One.
It was always likely to be a more difficult transition than most reds fans expected and so it proved when after two home games we were yet to score and had been defeated by Crawley and Crewe.
At this point most fans were beginning to expect yet another season of struggle despite the fact that we had dropped down a division.
The signs didn`t look good following those first two games. However, this was almost a completely new team which needed time to gel.
Manager Danny Wilson had brought in a lot of new players and many were from lower divisions. You could see from the first couple of games that most of these players have talent but were they ready for League One football?
Fast forward to the end of August and the picture looked completely different and most reds fans now expect a play-off push.
Most players now seem to have settled, especially Conor Hourihane who has just been selected as the League One player of the month.
From an attacking point of view, we certainly look like we are beginning to click. To be joint top scorers in the league after the first five games is extremely encouraging and we now look to have a lot of competition up front.
Leroy Lita has scored a couple of goals and Sam Winnall, Devante Cole and Kane Hemmings have also bagged.
Hourihane has netted three superb long range goals and hopefully he can continue how he has started the season.
It is no surprise however that we are yet to keep a clean sheet in the league. We have been poor defensively for a number of years now and even dropping down a division won`t suddenly mean that we start to keep clean sheets week in week out.
We do however look a lot more solid than we have in recent years and with the back four now settled in personnel, we will only become stronger in this area.
Young goalkeeper Adam Davies has also performed well despite looking nervous and unsure at times. His kicking needs a lot of work but he has done well and I can see why Wilson has resisted the urge to throw Turnbull straight back in. Make no mistake this will happen at some point but there is no rush at the moment.
Wilson has stated that he would still like a target man, something I was crying out for only a few weeks ago. I no longer see this as a main priority with the way the four lads up top are performing.
I would be looking for a right back and a tough tackling central midfielder first and foremost.
Brown is improving at right back despite clearly being more suited to centre half. I don`t necessarily want him replacing but I at least want an out and out experienced right back to put him under some pressure.
I also like the look of every player that plays in central midfield and I think every single of one of Hourihane, Bailey, Berry, Abbott and Digby have performed well when called upon.
However against the better teams I do think we could do with a tough tackler in there, an engine, someone who won`t give the opposition time to settle on the ball.
I must admit that I was worried with what I saw after the first couple of games but have been impressed with what I have seen since.
This is definitely a Danny Wilson style team. He is building a young, hungry team with players who like to play football.
Even if we fail to make the promotion shake-up this season, I still believe the future is promising if we can keep the majority of this squad together under this manager.
Date:Friday September 5 2014
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