Shea knows both Town and Tykes will fancy their chances at Oakwell

Town keeper James SheaTown keeper James Shea
Town keeper James Shea
Keeping wants to start with opening day Barnsley victory

Keeper James believes both the Hatters and Barnsley will target this afternoon’s clash at Oakwell as a great chance to get their Championship campaigns off to a winning start.

The two sides were struggling against relegation for the majority of last season, producing wonderful runs of form to escape the drop on the final day.

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Now with the slates wiped clean, Shea said: “Both teams will think it’s a good start to get three points on the board nice and early.

“At the end of last season they finished really, really well.

"They beat (Nottingham) Forest, they went to Brentford and beat Brentford, so you can’t be a bad team if they’re doing that.

“Like us, they don’t want to be down there this season, but I just hope we can get the three points to start off.

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“There’s pressure on us all the time, but it’s not the pressure of going down straight away, so I think you can play with a little bit more freedom.”

After a season spent battling to survive, Shea doesn’t want to have to go through a similar scenario again, as he continued: “That’s the plan, we don't want to be where we were last year, we don’t want to be staying up on the last day of the season and be down there.

"It will be tough season like it is every year, but we’ve got that year’s experience under our belts now and hopefully, fingers crossed, we can expect a bit more this year.”

It was the same for full back Brendan Galloway, who is continuing to recover from his serious leg injury picked up against Brentford last November.

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He added: “This season we want to push on, we’re an ambitious group of players and I think we all know we can do better.

“We’ve played together for another year, we’ll be more used to each other.

“The squad’s a tight bunch of lads and I think this season we can really push on.

“Last season was our first season in the Championship, having to adapt, get used to it was quite tough, but I think we can take that experience into this season.

“We’re trying to perfect things, they don’t always come off as perfection, but as long as you keep on going as a good group of guys, we’ll see how far we can go.”