Barnsley have shocked doubters, say Angus MacDonald

Angus MacDonald - Picture: Marie Caley
Angus MacDonald - Picture: Marie Caley
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Defender Angus MacDonald believes Barnsley are proving people wrong this season.

The Reds were earmarked as potential relegation strugglers after their meteoric rise back into the second tier last term - especially given the lack of experience amongst the squad when it comes to Championship football.

However, Paul Heckingbottom’s outfit are sitting comfortably in 12th place, six points clear of the Championship drop zone.

“We’ve definitely shown people what we can do,” said the former Torquay skipper, who only joined the ranks at Oakwell in the summer.

“It’s probably teams coming here who have brought that mentality to us.

“We’re not going to take our foot off the gas because we want to keep driving at teams.

“We want to show teams that we’re young, hungry and ready to show this league what it’s about.”

The Reds host Norwich City, who were relegated from the Premier League last season, tomorrow and the Canaries may well sit back having seen how attacking Barnsley’s preferred style of play is.

Struggling Wigan Athletic sat back and looked to defend and they walked away with a point after a goalless draw and Nottingham Forest came away 5-2 victors by adopting the same tactic.

And MacDonald realises it is something the side will probably have to deal with after their strong start.

“Teams might come here, change their formation and the way they play because of us but let them,” said MacDonald. “We’ve just got to focus on us, focus on the way we want to play.”

“We’ll still attack them like the same way we would any other team.”

The centre-back has only been at the club since the start of August.

Heckingbottom came through the ranks at giants Manchester United as a kid before plying his trade at left-back for over 400 games across multiple clubs - including Barnsley.

And MacDonald has pointed to the head coach’s influence in his game already, despite only being under his tutelage for a mere four months.

He said: “He’s had a massive influence on my career so far.

“He’s been in the game a long time and he’s teaching me a lot.

“He’s putting his arm round me and showing me the right road to go down.”