Martin Devaney says he is a far better coach than when he was last caretaker for Barnsley games in a ‘no win situation' whereas he has now been given a ‘fantastic opportunity.’

Devaney was caretaker for the final three games of the 2021/22 season after the Reds had been relegated from the Championship – exactly two years ago. He has since been a first team coach under Michael Duff last season then Neill Collins this season until Monday when Collins was sacked.

Devaney is now in charge for tomorrow’s game against Northampton at Oakwell with victory securing a place in the League One play-offs.

Devaney told the Chronicle: “That period when I took over last time, I wouldn’t say I learned anything because it was a no win situation. I was just trying to pick people up and be positive, this time it’s a great opportunity. In those last two years I have learned a lot, working under the two managers I have worked with. I am a lot more developed and skilled to be in this position.”

Devaney first joined the Reds in 2005 and made 177 appearances including winning the League One play-offs and in an FA Cup semi-final. How does this compare?

“I’m just proud. It’s so winnable and we’re in touching distance. I am sure everyone who turns up will make it a fantastic atmosphere.”

Devaney has promised to play attacking football but was asked about Barnsley’s defensive record which has seen them concede 12 goals in the last five games including difficulties from set pieces.

“We have touched on our defensive side and set pieces. But I want the lads to play attacking football and express themselves.”