Barnsley: Irish ace backed to be a big Oakwell hit

Paddy McCourt opens the scoring for Barnsley against Middlesbrough.
Paddy McCourt opens the scoring for Barnsley against Middlesbrough.
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Barnsley boss David Flitcroft believes midfielder Paddy McCourt will take the Championship by storm this season.

Former Celtic playmaker McCourt scored a brilliant individual goal to set the ball rolling as the Reds clinched a much-needed 3-2 home win over Middlesbrough at Oakwell.

But unfortunately for the tricky Irishman he had to be withdrawn a couple of minutes later suffering from sickness.

“He’s [Paddy] so unpredictable I don’t think there’s much like him in the Championship if I’m being honest,” offered Flitcroft.

“He worries you if you can get him near the box and he starts gliding.

“Once he gets near that box you’ve got to be very careful you don’t bring him down.

“He worries defenders. That’s what Paddy’s got hasn’t he?

“We’re still trying to get him fitter and stronger, but I believe he’ll take the Championship by storm, I really do.”

McCourt’s 26th minute strike was his first goal for the Reds since joining as a free agent in late August.

And Flitcroft is hoping the 29-year-old Northern Ireland international will be the creator and scorer of more goals this season.

“I said when we first got him that creation and scoring goals [was important], but more creation than anything,” said Flitcroft. “But goals are a bonus and I do believe he’ll get goals.

“I think he can create, keep the ball at times and when you stay on the ball for five or six seconds it gives everyone a breather to come up the pitch.

“Paddy will be influential for us I’m sure over the next sort six to eight games. I love working with him.

“He wasn’t feeling great before the match, but we didn’t think it would go to that extreme when he’s exerting his energy and getting to the point where he’s physically sick on the pitch.”

Chris O’Grady also bagged a brace to ease the pressure on Flitcroft.