Under-fire Barnsley boss David Flitcroft has admitted that his side have made “a lot of mistakes” this season.
But a determined Flitcroft has stressed that his players are doing everything they can to improve on a frustrating start to their Championship challenge.
“I’m a realist, I don’t dream,” said Flitcroft. “I know results get you longevity in this game – and they get you time in this game.
“We’ve done a lot of things wrong and we’ve made a lot of mistakes this season, but I’m trying to rectify those mistakes through hard work and an endeavor to try and do better.
“That’s what we’re doing. We’re still sticking to that plan, but certainly now we’ve got players who are getting into a rhythm of work. We’re trying to get a different side out on the pitch.”
A battling 3-2 home win over Middlesbrough at the weekend ended a run of six league games without a win and lifted the Reds off the bottom of the table.
But there is still plenty of hard work to be done – and Flitcroft is confident that he is the man to guide the Reds out of trouble.
“As a football manager you’re always building a jigsaw,” he said. “You never complete it, but what you try and do is believe that you’ve got the right pieces. It’s how you fit them together.
“We’ve been trying to build a different jigsaw to last season – and we’re trying to move on. We’re not trying to stand still.
“That’s what I’ve been telling people close to me for four to six weeks because we’ve done a lot of things wrong this season.
“I’ve always said that if you believe in your work and you have longevity to your work, then you get that systemization, which is players who achieve something, like Chris O’Grady has.”
O’Grady bagged a brace in the Reds’ defeat of Boro – and the former Sheffield Wednesday marksman now has seven goals for the season.
“He’s built on that [longevity] this season and he’s got better,” said Flitcroft.
“Chris O’Grady’s performances are off the back of him coming to us last season.”
O’Grady comes face to face with his former employers this weekend in what promises to be a mouth-watering South Yorkshire derby at Oakwell (kick-off 12.15).
This is a lot at stake for both clubs, who are languishing in the relegation zone.