Brad Collins is worried that playing in front of empty stadiums could count against Barnsley if they play the remainder of their Championship relegation fight behind closed doors.
The 23-year-old goalkeeper is part of the Reds side who were bottom of the league, seven points adrift of safety with nine games remaining when the season was suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Clubs have been told not to train until May 16 at the earliest, with discussions ongoing about the conclusion of the season and possibility of playing games behind closed doors. Collins told the Chronicle: “I want to finish the season but, in the last nine games, our fans could be vital for us. “I would like to see the fans there with us, definitely. But, if it has to be with no fans, then so be it. It would be very strange, it would be feel like being back in the under 23s.”
Collins – who has competed with Sami Radlinger for the number one shirt this season – was in goal for the three successive wins, without conceding, against Fulham, Middlesbrough and Hull City in February which reignited hopes of Barnsley’s survival. But the two games before the lockdown brought losses to Reading and Cardiff City. He said: “All the hard work in the season started to pay off in those three games.
“If we put a run like that together again, it would be great. “There are a lot of games we can look back at and remember good performances to inspire us. Everyone in the bottom three is fighting for their lives. No one is safe yet and no one has gone yet. If we can put a run together and apply pressure, then anything can happen. Hopefully – if and when we start playing again – the boys can stick together and come up with a run of results that keep us up. We are all definitely still believing.”
Collins is currently living with his girlfriend in London. He said: “It’s pretty boring. I am just keeping my fitness, making sure I eat the right things, and playing PlayStation. There’s not a lot going on.”