Elliott Dickman knows his team must raise their game in the Papa John’s Trophy as they take on League One promotion hopefuls Barnsley in Group E of the competition.
The Tykes are in fine form and in the play-off places in the third flight but start the game bottom of the group against Newcastle after Dickman’s side earned a point in a 0-0 draw with Doncaster before losing on penalties.
United though know that victory could put them within touching distance of the knockout stages after failing to qualify from the group stages in the last three years.
Ahead of the trip to Oakwell, Dickman told Chronicle Live: “We’ll need the same intensity and aggression as Doncaster. That’s not just the back four lads, the whole team.
“They showed what we expect from them at Doncaster when we don’t have the ball. The main thing we have to work on is keeping the intensity and focus. Then when we get the ball we need to show more care and composure.”
Barnsley warmed up for the game against Newcastle with a 3-0 win over Cambridge United. But despite their lofty status in League One, Dickman says his players are keen to impress on the bigger stage after playing in front of small crowds in the reserve league.
Dickman said: “They will be relishing it. It is always good to play against senior opposition in a different competition and different environment.
Although Dickman insisted he was looking for an improvement from his players.
In terms of the Papa Johns it is a really good competition for us and we get a lot of benefit from playing against senior players with more experience. It is a good challenge for our group.”
Dickman said: “There were certain elements of our game we were pleased with. We have done a lot of work on our shape and our back line.
“And I think Doncaster was good and the lads can be pleased with. Up until the final third we know we can be better. When we win the ball back we need to show more composure and care when we get it back.”