Barnsley striker Sam Winnall is convinced the club can benefit from taking Everton to the wire.
The Reds went down 5-3 after extra-time against the Toffees in a gripping Capital One Cup second round showdown on Wednesday night at Oakwell.
But despite defeat the South Yorkshire outfit showed plenty of promise having taken a 2-0 half-time lead and gone 3-2 ahead after the Merseysiders levelled after the break.
“We’ve just got to be really proud of what we achieved in the match,” stressed Winnall.
“Hopefully we can kick on in the league and take that type of performance against Rochdale. There’s so many positives we can take as a club from the game.
“We took Everton to the wire, but not just that, we played some really good football. I think that it speaks volumes for us as a League One club to go and play like that against a Premier League team.
“We’ve got a good philosophy to play football the right way, so we’ve got to be proud of the way we played and what we’re trying to do.”
Winnall bagged his second goal in three games as the Reds took Everton, with former star John Stones in their team, into extra-time.
And the former Scunthorpe United hit-man is not surprised with the strides the club are making, especially with youth on their side this season.
“I’m not surprised how well we played because I know the type of characters in our dressing room,” said Winnall.
“It’s the kind of player that wants to be successful, wants to play at the highest level and wants to take this football club back into the Championship and further.
“It’s just a pleasure to play alongside players who have the similar mindset to me, they want to only test themselves against the best players.
“But not only that one day play against them week-in, week-out. Playing Everton was a wonderful experience and one which we can all learn from.”
The Reds lock horns with Rochdale at Spotland on Saturday and once against come up against former boss Keith Hill, as well as former players Jimmy McNulty, Tom Kennedy and Reuben Noble-Lazarus.
And this weekend could be a good time to play Hill’s side who have lost two and not won in their last three outings.
“We’ve just got to focus on Rochdale now and be ready for that,” added Winnall. “It’s baffling how many games we’ve got at the moment, especially when there’s only four games in September.
“But we can’t control that and have just got to control our performances and build on the start we’ve had to the season.”