New Barnsley boss Danny Wilson has called for his team to rise to Saturday’s Yorkshire derby challenge against Leeds United.
Wilson took training at Oakwell for the first time this week and has been pleased with the response from his players.
But the former Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United boss has stressed there is a need for an immediate response from the relegation-strugglers rather a bedding in period since he took charge.
“We’ve got to take the bull by the horns now, we don’t have a settling in period. I certainly don’t,” stressed Wilson, in his first pre-match press conference ahead of the Reds’ mouth-watering trip to Elland Road.
“I’ve got to get on with it. Unfortunately there’s going to be one or two decisions I get wrong and then there’s going to be some decisions I make the players may like or not like, but that’s the way it goes.
“We don’t have the pleasure of being able to sit for a few weeks on pre-season, it’s important just to get on with it. But I know one or two of the players.
“I don’t think the players can have a clean slate because we don’t have the time. The lads need to get it into their minds that they’ve got big derby game on Saturday.
“Impressing me in training is not really what I’m looking for, it’s impressing me in the games is the place that matters. It’s important they [the players] train well, and they have done, but Saturday is the big test. That’s when we see how they respond into a big game.
“The group has responded really well to the changeover. Hopefully we can get the result we’re looking for, that’s the start we want.”
And Wilson has been boosted by the likely return of leading scorer Chris O’Grady.
Ex-Owls hitman O’Grady has trained this week as he bids to return from a calf injury, although midfielder Paddy McCourt is a major doubt with a hamstring injury.
“We’re hoping Chris will be available, but if he’s available it will be a massive bonus,” admitted O’Grady.
Meanwhile, Reds winger Jim O’Brien has welcomed the arrival of Wilson to Oakwell for a second spell.
And the Scot believes Wilson’s experience will hopefully be the added ingredient the club need to fine tune the squad for improved results.
“It’s been pretty positive [since the new manager has come in], the lads all know of his history here and well he has done here before,” revealed O’Brien.
“He has picked up a lot of experience from the last time he was here, he is only going to be a better manager.
“He’s not come in, to quote Danny, to ‘reinvent the wheel’, it’s nothing we don’t know. It’s fine margins, get goals conceded down and goals scored up.
“We have done a lot of good things in large spells of games and it’s just not come off for us.”