Angus MacDonald believes his previous experience with Marc Roberts has helped them gel at the heart of the Barnsley defence.
The pair have played together for England C and that understanding has proved vital with the duo keeping two clean sheets in their three games together. MacDonald, much like Roberts, came to Oakwell from non-league football after plying his trade at Torquay and joined the club as defensive back-up.
But the 23-year-old has been pushed into the limelight of the Championship after Alfie Mawson’s move to Swansea and he admits he is still coming to terms with the jump in standard. “It’s a bit of a change from what I’m used to and the tempo is a lot faster,” admitted MacDonald, who joined for a fee understood to be £150,000.
“Even in training the tempo’s quick so I’m trying to cut down my mistakes in training and take that into match days. At this level if you make those mistakes then you’re going to get hurt from them where I wasn’t used to that before. I’ve known Robbo for a while now and we played together a few times for England C.
“We get on well and we know what we expect from each other. It’s hard coming in and filling Mawson’s shoes but I’m just going to keep working hard to do well.
“I try not to think about it [Mawson’s £5m transfer fee] and just focus on myself and the team. I’ve been up here now five or six weeks and I’m settling in nicely.
“We’ve all made that huge step up and we’re in it together.”
Adam Armstrong and Josh Scowen are both doubts for this afternoon’s game against Reading after picking up a dead leg and a groin niggle respectively coming out of Tuesday’s mauling of Wolves.
The rampant Reds are coming off the back of two 4-0 wins in their last three fixtures and the defender just wants the boys to keep on going.
“We’ve just got to keep on doing what we’re doing,” admitted MacDonald, who came through the ranks with the Royals.
“The wins have come from us doing what we do well so we just have to carry it on.
“If we can keep on doing the little things right then I’m sure the results will remain positive for us.
“There’s a few faces I recognise from my time there but it’s really different down there now.”