Barnsley: Reds togetherness will be key factor

editorial image
Have your say

BARNSLEY defender Tom Kennedy is confident a “real togetherness” at the club stands them in good stead for a successful season in the Championship this term.

The Reds kick off their league challenge at home to Wigan Athletic, last season’s FA Cup winners, at Oakwell a week on Saturday, August 3.

And Kennedy, who penned a new two-year deal with the club during the summer, can’t wait to throw himself back into the thick of the action.

“The togetherness we had last season was brilliant, there’s no doubt about that,” Kennedy told The Star.

“I think the gaffer [David Flitcroft] realised that and that’s why he’s kept the backbone of the squad together.

“It’s important to do that and add some quality to it and and that’s what he’s done.

“We battled and grafted last year and that helped us stay up. We’re going to have to do the same again,” added Kennedy who will be part of the squad for the friendly with Rotherham United at the New York stadium on Saturday (3pm).

“Everybody has come back with that hunger this season. We’ve had a hard pre-season and all the players, myself included, can’t wait to get going.”

Flitcroft released a number of players at the end of last season and has worked hard to recruit a mixture of youth and experience.

Experienced defenders Lewin Nyatanga and Jean Yves-M’voto have both signed on two-year deals whilst winger Dale Jennings and strikers Chris O’Grady and John Cofie have also bought into Flitcroft’s blueprint for success.

And Kennedy believes the new additions are just what the doctor ordered.

“We put a lot of stress on ourselves last season and on the supporters and the club, in general, felt that pressure,” admitted Kennedy.

“We don’t want to put that amount of pressure on ourselves this season. It’s important we start off well and give ourselves a chance of improving.

“But if we don’t then we know we’ve got a team of big hearts and we’re shown we’re capable of showing our battling qualities.”