Goalkeeper Adam Davies believes Barnsley’s status as one of League One’s biggest clubs means promotion must be the sole objective next season.
The 22-year-old shot-stopper enjoyed an extended run in the starting line-up last term after injury to first-choice keeper Ross Turnbull.
And although he admits it will be tough to secure a return to the Championship, Davies is confident that the Reds can start the new campaign strongly after their first pre-season under new boss Lee Johnson.
“We’re a big club for this league so promotion is what we should be aiming for,” declared Davies.
“There are a lot of other good teams in this league, but if we can get a good pre-season under our belts we can hit the ground running.
“It’s a really tough league. You’ve got to be really consistent and get a good core to the team, but you also need flair players and players who can score the goals.
“Hopefully we can get the right players in and we can push on.”
Davies is amongst a handful of promising youngsters who were given the opportunity to step up to the first team last season, and he trusts that Oakwell is the right place for their continued development.
“The club gives a good platform for young players,” he added. “If you’re good enough, you’re old enough.
“The gaffer isn’t worried about playing young players. But you need that blend of the experience and the young players that are hungry for it.”
The German-born keeper has recently signed a two-year contract extension to complete a positive first year with the club.
Having now made 25 first-team appearances, Davies will be locked in a battle with Turnbull for the No 1 jersey next season.
“I’ve proved that I can do it, it’s up to the manager in the end,” he said.
“I’ve got to go into pre-season and concentrate on myself, there’s no point worrying about anything else.
“He [Turnbull] is good to have around. He’s got loads of experience and he’s played at the highest level in the Champions League.
“You always back each other, and because of the goalkeepers’ union we have to stick together. If Ross starts I’ll back him, and I’m sure if I play he’ll be supporting me as well.”
Davies also paid tribute to recently departed goalkeeping coach Mark Crossley, who joined League One rivals Chesterfield last week.
“Mark is a top bloke and a really good coach. I’m happy for him and I wish him well at Chesterfield.
“He’d talk to me after the games about how to improve, so I’m sure I’ll still keep in contact with him.”