Barnsley boss David Flitcroft believes his side were taught a harsh, but valuable lesson at home to Charlton Athletic last season.
And Flitcroft has stressed his team’s 6-0 defeat to the Addicks at Oakwell – the club’s heaviest defeat of the season – was a great learning curve for himself as a manager and his, then, misfiring players.
“Those mistakes experiences do make you stronger, there’s no doubt about it,” Flitcroft told The Star on the eve of the Addicks’ return to South Yorkshire.
“That [6-0 defeat] was a bad day for us and we were all disappointed, but I honestly thought that defeat was a real turning point in our season.
“We had a long chat after that match and we told the players what they’d done wrong and where they needed to improve.
“The players got a standing ovation from our supporters after that game even though we’d been beaten so heavily. They understood what we had been trying to do.”
The Reds followed that defeat with three draws and a victory to secure their Championship status.
“Our weaknesses were exposed” said Flitcroft.
“But that is refreshing, sometimes, because it shows you where you need to improve and how to get stronger.”
The Addicks visit Oakwell having lost both of their league matches so far and having scored only once in the league, although the Reds have lost both of their matches, leaked five goals and not scored in three hours of league play.
But Flitcroft, who could welcome back Wales international centre-back Lewin Nyatanga, is confident his team will bounce back from defeats to Wigan and Blackpool.
“The Charlton defeat was last season” added Flitcroft. “You learn from the past, but you don’t live in it.
“It was a devastating late blow to lose [1-0 away] to Blackpool last Saturday, but the place to put that right is on the training ground. And the players have been working hard to do that.”
Meanwhile, Barnsley’s Captial One Cup second round home clash with Southampton will be played on Tuesday 27 August, 7.45pm kick-off.
The Reds hosts the Premier League Saints on the back of a 5-4 penalty shootout victory over Scunthorpe United, while their next opponents received a bye into the second phase.