The 20-year-old winger, who joined from Derby County last summer, is from Soudley in Gloucestershire, just across the River Severn from Bristol. He said: “I was really excited for the Bristol City game when the fixtures came out. It’s the closest game for my friends and family to come to. One of my best mates supported them so I used to watch them a lot as a kid. The atmosphere was great there. I loved going there then kept an eye on their results.
“They have spent a lot of money and the quality they have in the team is very good. The recent results haven’t gone their way but we have to beware of them. “I know they have done a lot of work to the stadium and it looks very nice.”
Thomas scored the winner against Fulham on his Barnsley debut but they did not win any of their next 18 matches, before the arrival of head coach Gerhard Struber helped them close the gap to safety from eight points to one. The belief was always there, there was a hell of a lot of games left but when you’re losing all the time it is hard. You just need that one win to get a lot of confidence back. 15 games in we knew we weren’t up to it but we have found our confidence now. We are making teams scared of us now. People were coming to Oakwell thinking they would get three points but now they are wary of us.
“We had to have a lot of mental strength. It seemed a million miles away at eight points but we stuck together as a team and all the characters and leaders have come out. A lot of people have written us off and don’t think we can stay in this league, but we want to prove them wrong. It would be massive if we stay up and the manager would win manager of the season.
“We’re in a good run of form and a lot of credit has to go to the manager and his team. They have been brilliant, the tactics are spot on. We’re doing a lot of hard work in training and the fans have seen it on the pitch in games. The way the gaffer communicates is very good and all the players have taken it on board very well. We just want to build on this form now. We have got the gap down to one point and every lad in the changing room seems more confident. We know we can stay up this season. We look dangerous every time we go forward.”