In-form striker Conor Chaplin says Barnsley's win at Millwall on Saturday was a 'coming of age performance' and they are starting to prove wrong some of their Championship rivals who had written them off. 

The 22-year-old striker has scored seven goals in as many games since Gerhard Struber was made head coach, after netting one in his first 15. He has been playing up front with Jacob Brown, with top-scorer Cauley Woodrow just behind them in a 4-4-2 diamond formation. 

Chaplin said: "I have had the rub of the green. When it’s going for you in front of goal, things seem to drop for you a lot more and come off a lot more. I have more confidence. The important thing is that the team is winning and moving up the table. The new manager hasn’t worked on anything in particular with me. He’s given me great confidence, I am closer to the goal and that’s where I see myself. I enjoy playing as a number ten but I am best as a striker. I didn’t start the first game under him but ever since it’s been really good. 

"I am benefiting from playing up front and Cauley is doing really well behind us. He has great quality and he is so clever on the ball. He’s great to play with. He attracts one or two players to the ball because he’s so dangerous."

Barnsley's first back-to-back wins of the season have moved them up from bottom to 22nd in the Championship while cutting the gap to safety that once was eight points to one. 

Chaplin said: "We have never not been confident even when it wasn’t going well. Performances have more or less always been there apart from the odd anomaly. We are starting to pick up now but we need to continue to do well in this busy period. It’s crucial to be higher in the table but we’re not naive and we know we’re still in trouble. We want to keep as many teams around us as possible because you don’t want too many teams to get too far in front. Teams have definitely written us off and seen us as a team that are out of it. It doesn’t matter to us because we’ve always been so confident in ourselves."

Chaplin admits his latest goal, the opener at Millwall on Saturday was 'smash and grab' after the hosts had dominated the first 35 minutes. The Reds eventually won 2-1 to follow their 5-3 home success at home to QPR a week earlier.  

"We hadn’t been in the game, bar Luton at home it was our worst half of the season. That Millwall game was even more one-sided than Luton. We just couldn’t get out of our half and at half-time we knew we weren’t good enough.

"We have been saying that we can never scrap out an ugly win but then we did and the feeling was even better than after QPR when we scored five. It was a coming of age performance which maybe some of the lads needed to know they are good enough."

Patrick Schmidt headed in the 94th-minute winner. Chaplin said: "It’s a huge goal for Pat. Everyone is delighted form. He was ecstatic for the goal and we were all celebrating afterwards. Hopefully he takes confidence from it and keeps impacting games. It’s tough when you’re not getting many minutes, you just have to keep doing what you can. The best way to show what you can do is to come on and score like he did."