Barnsley FC manager Neill Collins on the lookout as he tells whole club: 'We need to be better'

Neill Collins wants to see that Barnsley have learnt on and off the field from a difficult few weeks.

Tuesday saw a heavy defeat at Bradford City in the Football League Trophy – albeit the mitigating circumstances were pretty weighty too – and Saturday's game at Lincoln City will be Barnsley's first in League One since the 3-0 loss at Derby County.

On Wednesday the Reds were thrown out of this season’s FA Cup for an administrative error when youngster Aiden Marsh played in the first-round replay at Horsham despite being ineligible for the initial game – and therefore the entire tie – because he was on loan at York City.

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It was a simple error but a costly one, with a second-round trip to the Football League’s bottom team, Sutton United, offering a good chance of progressing to the third round.

HARSH LESSONS: Barnsley manager Neill CollinsHARSH LESSONS: Barnsley manager Neill Collins
HARSH LESSONS: Barnsley manager Neill Collins

Mistakes happen in all walks of life, unfortunately, and manager Collins is anxious to see everyone learn from them.

"We're very disappointed," he admitted. "The biggest disappointment is for our fans and our players.

"It's the best cup tournament in the world and we want to be part of it. I think we treated it with a lot of respect in terms of playing a very strong team against Horsham in the first game and in the replay we did a very professional job.

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"Ultimately a mistake's been made and we need to learn from it. As a club we need to be better.

INTERNATIONAL DUTY: Jon Russell has been playing for JamaicaINTERNATIONAL DUTY: Jon Russell has been playing for Jamaica
INTERNATIONAL DUTY: Jon Russell has been playing for Jamaica

"We've got human beings here and we all make mistakes. This one's just bigger than some others.

"But we need to get together and move on quickly.

"We live in a culture these days where we're always inclined to put blame on one person. We've got to stay together as a football club and a squad, we need to be better for it and put the processes in place.

"We review everything we do, whether it be a training session or anything else."

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IMPRESSING: Barnsley's Fabio JaloIMPRESSING: Barnsley's Fabio Jalo
IMPRESSING: Barnsley's Fabio Jalo

The biggest review Collins has overseen recently was of the 3-0 reverse at Pride Park.

"There were certainly things we don't want to see again and I thought the attitude at Horsham reflected what we need to see more of," said Collins, who will be working under a director of football next year after the Reds advertised for the role.

"I understand the reasons for the Bradford defeat but we need to make sure we show against Lincoln that we've learnt those lessons.

"We had three full debuts (at Valley Parade) and when I came to this club we had a really strong youth academy producing players and I got told it was part of my remit to make sure that pathway's open. You can't have it both ways.

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"We've qualified for the next round and we gave opportunities not just to the guys who made their debuts but other young guys. They came up against a very strong Bradford side. Ash Taylor probably had more appearances in his career than our entire team collectively.

"I felt for the fans because we wanted to win for them but I'm sure they understand it can stand us in good stead going forward.

"It was a reminder that you don't just turn up to these places, you have to battle. They were really tough lessons and I had many as a young centre-back myself.

"The ones that learn from it have good careers, the others may not play at the level they would like."

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Nobody's lesson was harsher than defender Jack Shepherd's, red carded in the dying stages of the 5-1 loss.

"Jack Shepherd's done phenomenally playing away to Wigan when we really wanted to pick up points, he was outstanding away to Cheltenham and when he's started (in the league) we've kept a clean sheet.

"It was his sixth professional start and it capped a difficult evening for Jack but one thing he's very good at is his desire to learn every day.

"He'll be better for it and we’ll be better for it."

When it comes to deciding what part Devante Cole and Jon Russell can play on Saturday after being away with Jamaica during the international break, Collins will lean heavily on their knowledge.

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"We have to wait until they get back into the building, then talk to them," he said. "We have to show a lot of trust in those guys. They will have been training and competing hard to play for their country.

"It's less they understand their bodies better, more that they have a bit of experience behind them so there's more knowledge about what we'd expect from them.”

Fabio Jalo is at the start of his career but a productive fortnight with Portugal under-19s has enhanced the 17-year-old's club prospects.

"Fabio's shown up really well in the opportunities we've given him and he's gone away and continued to score goals with his international team," said Collins.

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"When somebody goes away with their national team and does well they're genuinely full of confidence so we have to consider that as well.

"He came back with a big smile on his face as you'd expect from a striker that's just scored a couple of goals. So Fabio will definitely come into consideration.”