HEAD coach Neill Collins said his Barnsley side are a ‘totally different’ one to the team that started the season with a 7-0 win against Port Vale – and insists that despite a tough November there’s been ‘more positives than negatives’.

The Reds end the month outside of the League One play-off places in seventh, two points behind sixth-placed Derby County.

Barnsley being banished from the FA Cup after fielding an ineligible player against Horsham rightfully is at the forefront of a lot of fans’ minds – but in the league they’ve only lost once since September 30 when they struggled against Blackpool at Oakwell.

But the negatives have been disastrous – a 3-0 drubbing away at Derby County, a 5-1 thrashing at the hands of League Two Bradford City – and an embarrassing display against seventh-tier Horsham in the cup.

Tuesday night’s victory against Wycombe was the club’s only league win in November – but Collins insists that it’s not all doom and gloom after assessing the last 30 days.

He told the Chronicle: “I could be wrong but I think we’ve lost once in the league since Blackpool.

“Horsham here (at Oakwell) was a typical FA Cup game that you don’t want to be a part of – we got punished three times.

“Then Derby, that ended in a poor result and a poor performance.

“The Bradford game for me was more about the long-term vision for the club.

“We then had the disappointing decision in the FA Cup.

“There’s been a lot of different things happen but ultimately we’ve picked up points – we know we’ve wanted to pick up more points because we wanted to win on Saturday (against Lincoln).

“But I think we’re improving behind the scenes.

“The work we’re doing on the training pitch I think we’ve seen in the last couple of games.”

The Reds picked up four points in the league last month, conceding five goals and scoring three – dropping out of the top six in the process.

Collins said he knows that the Reds need to win more games if they’re going to push for promotion – but said they’re more than capable of picking up points against anyone in the league.

“From the league perspective, Derby was disappointing but I think we’re doing OK,” he added.

“We know we need to improve all the time but the players are showing that they are.

“I think we always want more, we always think there’s a few points here and there we could have got – but it’s a long season ahead.

“We know we’re going to need a lot of games between now and the end of the season – I think we’ve shown that we can do that.

“The first four or five games can’t be totally disregarded but we’re a totally different team coming out of the transfer window.

“There’s been a lot more positives than negatives.”

December brings with it a hectic schedule and the Reds will play two of the current top six – Stevenage and Peterborough – towards the back end of this month.

They’ve generally struggled against the top sides this season, only picking up three points once against the sides currently in the top half of the table.

But Collins said that he and his players are looking forward to the challenge the festive period will bring.

“Herbie Kane was saying to me that he’s excited about the games and as a player that’s what you look forward to,” he said.

“We’ve got a lot of young, fit and hungry lads – and this is a good opportunity to show that.

“They’ll get a couple of days off because they don’t play on Saturday but we’ll be ready to go to Blackpool to try and win the cup game and then Reading following that.

“It’s a relentless month so that’s exciting.”

The Reds begin the month with a Bristol Street Motors Trophy game against Blackpool on Tuesday at Bloomfield Road before travelling to Reading a week tomorrow.

They then host Charlton and Stevenage before facing Port Vale away on Boxing Day and Peterborough on December 29.