Barnsley: Conor Hourihane confident of continued Reds revival

Conor Hourihane takes on Burton's Lee Bell.
Conor Hourihane takes on Burton's Lee Bell.
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Midfield general Conor Hourihane believes continued confidence is key to Barnsley climbing the League One table.

The Reds are unbeaten in their last two league matches and sparkled last Saturday with a 5-0 FA Cup demolition of Burton Albion.

And Hourihane, who is the Reds’ leading scorer this season with nine goals in 29 appearances, wants that confidence to continue at home to Colchester United at Oakwell on Friday night.

“We’re playing with confidence at the minute and getting some decent results,” said Hourihane.

“People always look at the scorelines and who scores goals in games, but we’re keeping clean-sheets as well, so the lads at the back deserve some credit as well.

“We just have to take this form into the league. Going forward we’re all full of confidence and looking forward to playing Colchester on Friday night.

“The win [against Burton] gives the lads a lot of confidence going forward.

“FA Cup ties are always dodgy, especially against lower league teams, but we performed well.

“We played well, took the right attitude into the game and deserved the result.”

The Reds have kept a welcome clean-sheet in their last two outings, but perhaps amazingly they have not kept a clean-sheet for three successive matches for nearly four years.

A three-game unbeaten run against Portsmouth, Watford and Sheffield United between late November and early December 2010 was the last time the Reds managed to go 270 minutes without conceding.

Wilson stressed: “Clean-sheets are important and so it possession. Possession is very important to us and that’s what we’re trying to achieve.

“At the end of the day you can have as much possession as you want, but you need something at the end of it as well.

“On Saturday we got something at the end of it – and on five occasions.

“The proof is in the pudding. We’re trying to do something right, but however you want to play you still want to see an end product.

“The performance [against Burton Albion] will give all our fans a lift.”

And Wilson also revealed his delighted that striker Sam Winnall is now starting to find the back of the net on a regular basis.

Winnall bagged his first professional hat-trick in Saturday’s win over the Brewers and has seven goals in seven games.

“Sam is starting to take those chances that, quite honestly, he wasn’t taking in the early parts of the season,” added Wilson.

“It’s all about confidence to be honest. Those ones [shots] which were maybe hitting the bar and skimming the post are now going in for him.

“But the sign of a good striker is that they keep persevering – and that’s what Sam has done.

“He’s not been disappointed with not scoring in certain games and we’ve kept his confidence high as best we possibly can.

“And his focus has been great. He’s on a good run at this moment in time.

“Different players handle pressure differently, but Sam is working that much harder to get his goals this season. It’s been a marked improvement.”