BARNSLEY winger Jim O’Brien is confident the club can kick on next season and try and break into the Championship play-offs.
The Reds were on the cusp of breaking into the top six early in the season, but slipped down the table in the second half of their campaign.
But with boss Mark Robins giving youth a chance alongside some of his more experienced players, O’Brien is in no doubt the Oakwell outfit are heading in the right direction.
“It’s excellent for the club to have a lot of young players coming through,” O’Brien told The Star.
“There’s a lot of competition for places. The manager is doing the right thing by putting them in now at this stage of the season.
“We’re safe so he might as well give some of the young lads some experience, so when they come back pre-season they’ll be fit and raring to go. Then they can just slot into the team when they need to.”
And although a string of loan signings has made life difficult for O’Brien to cement a regular starting place each week, the Scot is happy with the players which have been brought in to strengthen the side.
“The manager has brought in good footballers. The main reason I signed for the club was because of the manager, he really swung it for me.
“He told me he wanted to make the Play-offs in the next two seasons.
“We’ve not managed that this season, so we need to kick on next season.”
Blackpool loan hitman Marlon Harewood, who has been one of the more successful loan signings, plays his last game for the club tomorrow at home to Millwall. And Hull City loanee Paul McShane, who also impressed, has already returned to his parent club having played his part.
“They have been brilliant for us. We need to get players of their quality,” said O’Brien.
Robins is boosted by a fully fit squad for their last match of the season, with only long-term absentee Luke Potter on the sidelines.