DARRELL Clarke says the opportunity to promote a team into the Championship was the key factor in his move to Barnsley and hopes to make it third time lucky in their attempts to get out of League One next season.

The 46-year-old moved yesterday from Cheltenham Town with the Reds understood to have paid a six-figure sum for him and ending a month-long search for a replacement for the sacked Neill Collins.

Clarke – who has managed in more than 600 games and won five promotions – has signed a two-year deal with a year’s option for the Reds.

Clarke told the Chronicle: “The aim is promotion without a shadow of a doubt.

“The high expectations are good and what I want. We have a proper fanbase that wants Championship football.

“I have to give every minute of my day to try to build that.

“The club has been unfortunate in the last two seasons to miss out but it’s not about the past, it’s about how we move forward. There is a lot of work to be done to recruit a team that can be up there fighting.”

He added: “I want to say how proud and privileged I am to be manager of this football club with a great history and great fanbase.

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“I can’t wait to get started. It’s been a manic few days but now I’m here and I can’t wait. I want to be here. I want to be able to do good things with the team and build for the future.

“I had a great time at Cheltenham but now it’s time for a new chapter in my career. It’s a club that can get out of the division at the top end. I’ve brought a few clubs into League One and managed a few games but I’ve never had that real opportunity to get a team out of it.

“This gives me an opportunity and a platform and I know how desperate our fans are to get back to the Championship.”

Clarke will be Barnsley’s tenth head coach in just over six years, with Collins having been dismissed with one league game remaining last season.

“It doesn’t concern me at all because my only concern is getting this club into the Championship.

“I believe I can do that. League One next season will be very tough but I want that pressure. I have experience of being at clubs who are in leagues they shouldn’t be in and there is pressure to go up. We want to get out of this division as quickly as we can.”

What will his style of play be?

“First of all, it’s to win. But we have an expectation here with a big fanbase.

“We want to play on the front foot, pressing and counter-pressing. We want to entertain. I have had to adapt at every club. At Cheltenham with the smallest budget, you have to find different ways to win than when you are at Barnsley.

“The club is driven by data which gets you good information but doesn’t give you the whole picture. Data is great to use, I wouldn’t be stood here if I didn’t hit the data stats. But, for me, the key is mentality, gameplans, training, togetherness, culture. That doesn’t come from data, it comes from within.

“I am a head coach that can produce promotion-winning teams. Now it’s my challenge to do that with Barnsley.

"I am comfortable with how we work as a club. I wouldn’t have taken the job if not. It’s matched-up and aligned.”

Cheltenham were relegated on the final day after not scoring in the first 11 games and taking one point.

“We knew where we were at Cheltenham with the circumstances, finances and resources. They are great people with a loyal upbeat fanbase.

“We nearly got there and that will always haunt me to be honest.

“To miss out by two points, it took me a week or two to get over it. I felt we deserved it, certainly the players did after not scoring in 11 games. But it wasn’t to be and you are forever learning as a leader.”

Clarke’s assistant will be Martin Devaney who was interim boss for the play-off loss. Jon Stead, who arrived with Collins last summer, will remain at the club. Clarke said: “I have known Martin a while. I played against him. He’s Barnsley through and through.

“I will be looking at all aspects of the coaching set-up and giving everybody an opportunity. We will get the right balance on the pitch and in the coaching staff.”

Barnsley released several first team regulars last week and are expected to have a busy summer. Clarke said: “I know a lot about the players. I am looking forward to meeting them and bringing in new players with the board. It’s a decent amount of work to do, which has already commenced.”

The Reds went through a series of options. They attempted to bring in Austrian Dominik Thalhammer last month but he did not have a work permit then they contacted former head coach Michael Duff who instead decided to join near neighbours Huddersfield Town. Sporting director Mladen Sormaz told the Chronicle: “In this head coach search we were looking for someone who’s had experience and had a lot of games in their career. We want someone with a track record of success – Darrell has got five promotions.

“We want someone who is going to attack teams and sustains that across the season. Darrell ticks all those boxes.

“Leaks come out at times that are convenient for those in the process.In reality we spoke to all our targets quite early on.

“At the time other people might have got sorted with something else, it makes sense for the agent to say ‘there was interest and look what we’ve done’. We’re happy with who we’ve got which is the key thing.

“We could do without the noise around it but that’s just football.”