After suffering a 4-0 home defeat to Wigan on the opening day of the Championship campaign the Tykes needed a penalty shoot-out to overcome League Twoside Scunthorpe at Oakwell in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night.
Reaching the second round papered over the cracks of another subdued display, and Barnsley boss Flitcroft said: "It's something we need to work on.
"We're a club moving and there's been plenty of mad results. We've got a plan and we'll keep improving. We do know that. We've got to keep improving.
"But overall the ball management was good and the energy levels were very pleasing.
"A lot of those lads played 90 minutes against Wigan on Saturday and they've done 120 here.
"Chris O'Grady was running on empty but he still had enough left in the legs to stick that one away at the end and I'm delighted that he pulled us through."