Bambo Diaby believes Barnsley are ‘very close’ to their first clean sheet since August. The Spanish centre-back, who will turn 22 on Tuesday, is part of a defence which has struggled to keep goals out this season.

He told the Chronicle: “A clean sheet is close. I believe in my team and all the defenders – and the first defender is the striker. When I come to a game, the first objective is to keep a clean sheet and I think we can do it in the next games.“I am happy with my performances but, for me, it is never enough. Every game I learn something. I want to keep going and play good games to help all the Barnsley people.”

Barnsley have been among the top-scoring sides in the Championship over the last two months but also have one of the worst defensive records. Diaby said: “The strikers here do a very good job but the defenders are also doing everything they can. It is not just the back four’s job to defend, it is all the team, like attacking is all the team.”

With Barnsley last and seven points from safety, Diaby could be relegated for a second year in a row after dropping out of the Belgian top flight with Lokeren last year. He said: “It is very hard but I believe in the team and the staff. I come into training every day with a winning mentality and so do all the players. We do everything in every training session. For me, everything is possible. Until it is mathematically not possible, I never think that it is finished. The season is so long. I know everybody wants a win, me also and all the team. 

“Everybody understands that we don’t have excuses now. But we have to have a positive mentality and fight until the end. It’s important to be positive because, if we say we are finished, we don’t go anywhere.”

Diaby – who has been paired with fellow 21-year-old Mads Andersen at centre-back – was asked if he thought playing alongside a more experienced defender might help him and the other defenders. He said: “I don’t have that in my head. I am just thinking about the players I am with now.  Mads is a very good player. He learns from me and I learn from him. We both played in the first division in other countries. We are playing against very good strikers every week and we are learning in every game. It is not like we need more experienced centre-backs because the players in this team can do it. I am not thinking about another player coming in January.”