Barnsley are buoyed 
by shoot-out success

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Barnsley winger Jim O’Brien hopes the Tykes can use their midweek League Cup heroics to kick-start their season.

Oakwell witnessed a 4-0 demolition by Wigan Athletic on the opening day of the Championship and 120 minutes of action failed to provide a goal for David Flitcroft’s side in the Capital One Cup first-round tie with Scunthorpe.

O’Brien missed in the resulting penalty shoot-out but the Reds did come out on top to secure a second-round tie with Southampton later this month.

Barnsley return to League matters today with a trip to face Paul Ince’s Blackpool and O’Brien is confident they can finally break their duck in front of goal and pick up their first points.

“It was important to get the Cup game out of the way because we are focussed on the League, that’s our bread and butter,” said the 25-year-old former Celtic winger.

“It was good for the confidence to get a win – even if it went to penalties, which are a bit of a lottery. But the most important thing is the League and we are just looking to get out first three points on Saturday.

“Blackpool are a good hard-working side, we know it’s going to be difficult, but we are looking forward to it.

“They have quality throughout the side.

“It’s always a good trip for our fans as they always make a weekend of it in Blackpool. I have friends who go for the whole weekend so a win would make a nice weekend for them.”

O’Brien was a substitute for the Wigan mauling, so was happy to be handed a starting berth on Tuesday night with new signing Dale Jennings suspended.

“I was looking to get my first 90 minutes and ended up getting 120. It was tough on the legs,” he admitted.

“It was a good professional night. The chances were there, the longer the game went we started snatching at them. Scunthorpe defended really well.”

But what about that penalty miss? “I thought I hit it well, I am not known for my penalty taking. I got my head over the ball, and after I hit it I thought I had scored. So to look up and see it smash off the bar was disappointing.

“I thought my performance on the night was really good, and my confidence is sky-high.”