JORDAN Williams admits recent results have ‘hurt’ the Barnsley squad but insists they are still ‘on a high’ with last season’s momentum after ‘regrouping’ in the international break.
The full-back, who turns 22 a week today, was part of the squad that finished fifth in the Championship last season then lost in the play-offs but are now in the relegation zone 11 games into the new campaign.
Williams told the Chronicle: “The momentum is still there. We have had a bit of a regroup during the international break. Everyone is still on a high.
“Obviously we’ve been down because of the results but we know what we can do as a team and individuals and hopefully we can start doing that.”
He added: “We finished last season on a high and now we’re struggling but we’ve been there before and, with the calibre of players we have, we can come out the right side of it. We were in the same position last season then picked up so there’s no need to worry.”
Williams came off the bench in the August 1-0 win over Coventry City, who missed an injury-time penalty he conceded, then missed the next six games through injury. He came into the side to face Nottingham Forest on September 29 after Josh Benson was injured in the warm-up for the 3-1 loss. It was just his second league start in almost a year after a similar incident saw him pick up a hamstring injury in the warm-up at Millwall in October last year.
“It has been frustrating but injuries are part of the game. I’m fully fit now so hopefully I can help the boys win games. It’s more than a year since I played 90 minutes in the league so it was good to play against Forest. It was hard to get my head around coming into the team with five minutes before the game but I was straight into the thick of it.”
Williams says the international break has been positive – with the players discussing the way forward with head coach Markus Schopp – and the Reds are looking forward to visiting Reading. He said: “It’s just clarity. We’ve been working on stuff in and out of possession. We’ve been working on players knowing their roles in the team. We’re all putting our ideas out there and said what we need to work on. We’ve always known our identity (under Schopp) but it’s been hard to get to grips with it. We’ve been trying new things, we just need to keep going and results will come. We need to have more shots, get more players in the box, get in the final third more and put more crosses in.”
Barnsley fans have booed in recent games. Williams said: “I get the fans are hurting, we’re hurting as well. It’s not easy and we know they will be upset because they pay their money to watch the team do well. We’ll try hard to get them back onside. We won’t panic and we can 100 per cent get out of this.
“Once we get the next win I think they will flood in.”