Barnsley captain Conor Hourihane has credited the collective effort at the club that has turned their season upside down.
The Irishman was handed the armband in December with the Reds struggling for form and languishing in the lower reaches of the SkyBet League One table.
But Barnsley have dug deep under Hourihane’s stewardship to become play-off contenders, and the 25-year-old is keen to stress the importance of continued hard work in the final stretch of the season.
“A lot of us had to step up to the plate,” said the former Plymouth midfield man. “Three or four months ago we were bottom of the league.
“The run we’re on is very good but it’s not one individual its definitely a collective squad turnaround.
“We’ve all worked hard, we’ve all put the hours in, and luckily enough where it matters most has been turning it around on the pitch. That’s just down to hard work.
“When Lee [Johnson] came to be about the captaincy role we had a couple of words and he did help me along the way to improve as a player, and it’s down to myself now to carry it on.
“It’s been pleasing for myself on this run but no-one can take individual credit it has to be collective. If you don’t go on the journey together and if everyone is not on the bandwagon we won’t get to where we want to be.
“So individually it’s tough for people to take praise, and everyone deserves credit in the squad and in the club as a whole because it’s been a really good turnaround and everyone has put the effort in.”
The Reds host Southend at Oakwell on Saturday, with the Shrimpers sat just four points off the play-off places.
Recent results against Coventry and Walsall have proven that Paul Heckingbottom’s men have what it takes to go up against the big boys of the division.
And Hourihane knows the importance of taking points off those sides who are in and around the play-off places, particularly as the season starts to come to a close.
“We’ve had a couple of big games recently against Walsall and Coventry and we’ve come out the right side of those games,” he added. “We’ll be looking for the same kind of result against Southend.”