Barnsley’s star striker Sam Winnall is adamant the club should not fear their return to the Championship.
Winnall played a key role in helping the Reds clinch a memorable promotion back to the English second tier.
And the 24-goal hero is looking to find the back of the net many more times this term as the Reds look to test themselves at a higher level.
Speaking exclusively to The Star, Winnall said: “I can’t wait for the new season, it’s exciting.
“We know it’s going to be tough because the Championship is very strong, for me it’s the strongest it’s been for some time.
“But you never fear the challenge because we’ve got the best job in the world.
“You want to test yourself against the best players and play at different grounds, that’s the exciting part about getting promotion.”
The Reds will lock horns with Newcastle United, Aston Villa and Norwich City, all of whom have come down from the Championship.
But Winnall is a firm believer that the Reds can embrace every match as a new challenge and a chance to showcase their ability.
Last season the club were rooted to the foot of League One at the end of November and staring relegation firmly in the face.
But a remarkable turnaround saw the Reds win promotion back to the Championship and win the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
And Winnall is hoping the club can continue that momentum and grow into the Championship.
“It’s an exciting challenge for all of us,” he added.
“We’re all looking forward to it, but first and foremost we’re not going to get ahead of ourselves.
“Our first target has to be to make sure we retain our Championships status this season and, then once we’ve built a solid base, keep building from there.”
The Reds open their new season away to Ipswich Town at Portman Road on Saturday 6 July, followed by tough home games against Derby County and QPR, then Yorkshire derbies with Huddersfield and Rotherham later in the month.
“I think we were always going to have a hard start to the season whoever we played,” reflected Winnall.
“Whatever game was put our way, well it wasn’t going to be easy.
“But hopefully we can start the season strongly against Ipswich and build each game.”
Meanwhile, new signing George Moncur will officially be unveiled as a Barnsley player today.
The former Colchester United midfielder has agreed a three-year deal to join the Reds.