Hard work will get Reds up table

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Jim O’Brien believes Barnsley have to “keep working our socks off” if they are to improve after a tough start to their season.

The Reds have gone four games unbeaten after a frustrating start to their league campaign which sees them sitting in the relegation zone.

But victory away to fellow strugglers Millwall on Saturday could see them lifted out of the relegation zone.

“We’ve got to remain focused,” stressed O’Brien.

“We know we can beat any team in this division, but it’s about doing everything right on the day that matters.

“We’ve got to keep working our socks off and I believe the results will come.”

O’Brien is confident the Reds are now starting to show the signs which helped them avoid relegation last season having seemingly started with a ‘mission impossible’ on their hands.

“There’s good competition for places and there’s confidence in the camp, so we want to keep that momentum from our last few performances going,” added O’Brien.

“I think we’ve probably been unlucky not to have won a couple of the drawn games we’ve had recently, but it’s been good to go unbeaten and to tighten up at the back.”

Barnsley’s defensive record has been one of the worst in the Football League this season, but David Flitcroft’s side kept a clean sheet in their last league outing, a 0-0 derby draw with Doncaster Rovers before the international break.

And with Crystal Palace loan defender Peter Ramage nearing a return from a torn thigh muscle, former Celtic and Motherwell winger O’Brien is adamant the Reds are a stronger outfit at the back.

“The back four is picking itself at the minute, which is great because it’s good to have that consistency,” said the Scot.

“And Rambo [Ramage] is fit, so there’s good strength and competition there.

“We have leaked a of goals but it’s a problem we’ve been working hard to put right.”