JOSH Earl admits Barnsley’s promotion push will be a ‘much more enjoyable challenge’ than the relegation battle with previous club Fleetwood Town – but he will approach them in the same way.

The 25-year-old defender moved from the Cod Army – who were bottom and on a 14-game winless run – to the top six Reds last week, with a game at Fleetwood on February 17.

Earl told the Chronicle: “It’s a different challenge.

“But it doesn’t change anything from my perspective. I will still go onto the pitch and give 100 per cent.

“The challenge for this club is to get promoted which is a much more enjoyable challenge to be involved in.

“But I wish Fleetwood all the best.”

Earl has previously played on the left of a back three or back four or at left wing-back.

Earl told the Chronicle: “I am not sure many people will want to see me play left wing-back any more.

“I have put on a lot of weight and muscle since I last played there.

“It would need to be a big emergency but I will put a shift in anywhere.

“Left centre half is probably my best position.”

Earl only had one training session last week before his debut in the 1-1 draw at Bolton.

But this is his first full week at Oakwell ahead of his potential home debut against Leyton Orient on Saturday.

“I am looking forward to playing in front of the fans.

“They were brilliant at Bolton. We could hear them all game.

“It was a good game to get involved in. It was tough and a good shift from all the lads.

“I felt quite comfortable. I don’t get too excited or nervous.”

How did the move come about?

“I was happy when Barnsley came in.

“I didn’t really want to leave Fleetwood in that state but I have faith in the lads to get out of it.

“It was a mad week. I learned of the interest at the start of the week then it progressed quickly.

“It was good to be chucked in straight away at Bolton.

“It’s quite hard to come to a new club and go straight in but, if you perform well and get the lads on side, then you can just go from there.”

Earl is hoping to help the Reds back to the second tier after starting off there with first club Preston.

“I broke into the Championship when I was young and I’ve had a spell out of it now.

“There’s a possibility of trying to get back there and this club belongs there.”

Earl signed a contract until 2027, with the Reds having an option to add another year.

“I have a lot of time here which is brilliant but I have to hit the ground running because we’re in a good position.”