Loan winger Ryan Kent believes Barnsley have stepped up after losing some of their stars during the January transfer window.
The Reds look different to the side that travelled to Nottingham Forest for the first match of the New Year.
Star striker Sam Winnall was lured away by quadruple wages at Sheffield Wednesday, while captain Conor Hourihane and young right-back James Bree both switched to Aston Villa.
The trio were a key part of the club’s play-off and Johnstone Paint Trophy success last term, and their rise up the Championship table this season.
However, the Reds have lost just once in three games since all three departed and newcomers are starting to gel.
“A few big names have left the club so all the players knew we had to step up and keep the performances and results going,” said Kent, who is on loan from Premier League outfit Liverpool.
“It’s pleasing because I think we’ve done that.
“Everyone had to step up. The intensity has increased in training and everyone knows what they have to do until the end of the season.
“We’re going in the right direction.”
The Reds travel south to face a resolute Reading side today.
The Royals have lost just once in their last eight games at the Madejski Stadium, but Barnsley have won on both of their last two trips there.
Manager Jaap Stam has instilled a real will to win at Reading who are five points off the automatic promotion spots.
The Reds lost the reverse fixture despite their visitors having to play for almost an hour with 10 men.
Barnsley will be buoyed by a phenomenal run on the road - they have lost just two of their last eight fixtures in all competitions away from Oakwell.