BARNSLEY: O’Brien relishes Reds’ big challenge

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BARNSLEY winger Jim O’Brien cannot wait to pit his wits against former Premier League opposition next season.

Having retained their Championship status for a seventh season, the Reds will face relegated Bolton, Blackburn and Wolves in 2012-13.

But O’Brien, who is expected to sign a new two-year deal ahead of his third season at the club, is confident that the Reds can acquit themselves well.

They have to perform to their full potential, he says.

“We’ve got some great games to look forward, especially Bolton,” O’Brien told The Star. “I think most people would agree that they shouldn’t be in the Championship; they’re too big a club.

“But they’ve come down and they’ll be desperate to get back in the Premier League. They’ll probably keep some of their big names, though I’m sure some players will leave.

“However, we’ve got to look forward to playing them, Wolves and Blackburn. This division doesn’t get any easier, but that’s the challenge.”