Barnsley captain Conor Hourihane believes the Reds’ ‘no fear’ attitude will stand them in good stead this season.
Paul Heckingbottom’s side open their campaign at Portman Road today, with the Reds looking for just their third win at the ground in 56 years. The Irishman feels the squad’s lack of Championship experience could actually be a positive during the club’s return to the second tier.
“There are a lot of us who haven’t played in the Championship so we’re going in with a no fear attitude,” said Hourihane, who captained the Reds to duel Wembley success last term. “It will help us because you go in with the attitude of giving it everything you’ve got. We definitely have to take what we did at the end of last season into this season. There are players who want to prove they’re not just one-season wonders, me included. We’ve got a great bond and hopefully that will stand us in good stead. You’ve got to take the rough with the smooth, keep working hard and hopefully we’ll do all right. It’s a cliché but we’ve got to take it one game at a time; staying up is our aim.”
Hourihane spent just over a year at Ipswich, without making a first team appearance for the club.
Despite that, the Barnsley skipper is adamant he has absolutely nothing to prove when he takes on the Tractor Boys this afternoon with a solid start to the season the only thing on his mind going into the game.
“It’s funny how it turns out, I’m looking forward to it against a former club but you have to play them at some stage and it’s funny how it’s the first game,” added the 25-year-old.
“I was very young at the time, I was 19 and wasn’t good enough for the grade.
“You have to go down to go up again and luckily enough that’s with Barnsley and I’m really looking forward to it.
“I don’t feel like I have anything to prove and if you go in with that attitude then you tend to try too hard and make mistakes.
“It’s going to be a tough opening game but we’ll be going there with our homework done and looking forward to it.
“It’s important to get off to a good start because it’ll breed confidence into a young squad.”