Barnsley: Hat-trick hero Winnall keeps feet on the ground

Sam Winnall holds his signed match ball after scoring his first professional hat trick.
Sam Winnall holds his signed match ball after scoring his first professional hat trick.
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In-form striker Sam Winnall won’t be getting carried away with his first-ever professional hat-trick.

Winnall’s fine treble helped Barnsley hammer Burton Albion 5-0 in the FA Cup first round at the weekend.

But the former Scunthorpe United hitman knows he can’t relax with a string of other strikers in the squad hungry to take his place.

Fellow forwards Leroy Lita, Kane Hemmings, Marcello Trotta and Devante Cole are all gunning to cement regular starting roles and Winnall, with seven goals in his last seven games, said: “You’ve always got to be looking over your shoulder. You know that you’re one bad game away from being on the bench.

“I try not to think about it too much to be honest. I just try and do my own thing and I know, that if I play well, then the shirt is mine. That’s what I’ll continue to do. I’ll keep working hard and hopefully keep scoring goals and keep helping the team to success.

“It was great to get my first [professional] hat-trick, so hopefully it’s the first of many.

“I love scoring goals and I remember all my goals, but getting the hat-trick was obviously very special.”

And Winnall would love it if the Reds could have an extended run in the FA Cup after their five-star first round performance: “It’s a great competition with fantastic traditions, so we’re happy to be in the next round,” the 23-year-old added

“We want to see how far we can go.

“It’s a good challenge for us. Everybody looks forward to when you get through to the third round and the so-called ‘big boys’ come in.

“The fans have been fantastic with us this season and hopefully they can stick with myself and the rest of the team for the rest of the campaign.

“Hopefully we can keep producing on the pitch and give them something to shout about.”

Reds boss Danny Wilson has understandably been energised by his side’s three-match unbeaten run and is hoping for more of the same at home to Colchester United on Friday night at Oakwell: “It was really massive to get a clean-sheet [against Burton] because we wanted something to build on from last week,” he said.

“The last thing we want to do is let a sloppy goal. We’ve got momentum right now and we want to keep it going.”

Meanwhile, Barnsley Under-21’s derby clash with Sheffield United has been re-scheduled for Monday, January 19.