BARNSLEY wing-back Corey O’Keeffe told the Chronicle the team will put Tuesday’s defeat against Portsmouth behind them - and he’s ready to fight for his spot in the starting 11.
O’Keeffe signed from relegated Forest Green Rovers on a four-year deal for an undisclosed fee in July, and has impressed in the games where he has played.
He’s had two injury set-backs already this season which has placed Irish right wing-back Barry Cotter above him in the pecking order - but the Birmingham-born defender is determined to push himself back into contention.
“I knew I would have to fight for my place when I was coming in and that’s what I’m going to do,” he said.
“I think everyone is pushing everybody else for a space in the team.
“It’s good we’ve got players coming off of the bench and making an impact - it keeps players on their toes.
“Competition is good because everyone wants to fight for their shirt.
“If everyone is pushing each other then it’s healthy.
“I got that injury in the first game and then I tried to rush back and it wasn’t quite right.
“That’s when I did the same thing again.
“Now I’m ready and feel fully fit again.”
The wing-back position is perhaps Barnsley’s strongest area of the team - with Nicky Cadden, Barry Cotter, Owen Dodgson, Jordan Williams and O’Keeffe all fighting for their place in the team.
The 25-year-old told the Chronicle that young Burnley loanee Dodgson has impressed him - and the rest of the new signings are settling in well, too.
“Owen is a good lad around the place,” he added.
“He came on and got man of the match even though he was only on for 45 minutes.
“He’s done really well and that’s the same with a lot of the new lads who have come in late.
“They’ve all settled in well and all added things to the team.”
O’Keeffe said the team will look at the positives and negatives from the 3-2 loss, but won’t dwell on the game too much but instead look ahead to Northampton tomorrow.
“I think the gaffer will show us bits and bobs of the game that he wants us to improve on,” he added.
“Then we’ll put this behind us and focus on Northampton on Saturday.”