Barnsley: Marley Watkins fighting to keep place in Reds XI

17 August 2016.......    Barnsley v QPR Skybet Championship.
Barnsley Marley Watkins looks for support.   Picture Tony Johnson
17 August 2016....... Barnsley v QPR Skybet Championship. Barnsley Marley Watkins looks for support. Picture Tony Johnson
0
Have your say

Barnsley forward Marley Watkins is determined to cement his place in the side after a promising start to the season.

The 25-year-old has found himself starting up front alongside summer signing Tom Bradshaw after Sam Winnall’s opening day hamstring injury.

17 August 2016.......    Barnsley v QPR Skybet Championship.
  Marley Watkins celebrates wiith Adam Hammill his early goal fdor Barnsley.  Picture Tony Johnson

17 August 2016....... Barnsley v QPR Skybet Championship. Marley Watkins celebrates wiith Adam Hammill his early goal fdor Barnsley. Picture Tony Johnson

Winnall’s pain has been the Welshman’s gain and he has taken full advantage by netting twice in the Reds’ opening four Championship fixtures.

Star striker Winnall, who bagged 24 goals in the club’s double success last season, is expected back early in September and Watkins knows competition for places will be as tough as ever in attacking positions – with himself, Winnall, Bradshaw and Stefan Payne fighting it out for two places in Paul Heckingbottom’s starting line up.

“Obviously when you get in the team, you want to keep your shirt but you have to perform,” said Watkins.

“I feel I should have started the first game anyway, but it’s all about the team and once you get the shirt you have to keep it, we’re all under pressure to perform.”

17 August 2016.......    Barnsley v QPR Skybet Championship.
Barnsley Marley Watkins heads in an early goal.  Picture Tony Johnson

17 August 2016....... Barnsley v QPR Skybet Championship. Barnsley Marley Watkins heads in an early goal. Picture Tony Johnson

“That’s what you want in the team, especially now we’re in the Championship, there is strong competition for places but that’s only healthy.

“It will benefit the team, it will raise everyone’s games, so it’s a good thing.

“I think we can all play together, whoever is in form will start so everyone’s got to be on it.

“There’s a family feel here, we all want to play for each other, work hard for each other and I think that goes a long way.

“As you can see from Wales in the Euros, that togetherness is what got them to the semis and I feel we’ve got a bit of that here, everyone gets along with each other and we all play for each other.”

Elsewhere, fellow Championship side Wolves have reportedly entered the race to sign Alfie Mawson.

The defender’s future has been up in the air all summer with the club reluctant to let one of their biggest assets leave Oakwell.

Sunderland are believed to have tabled a bid of around £3m to lure the 22-year-old to the Premier League as a replacement for want away centre back Lamine Kone.

The Reds have already knocked back an offer of £1m from Bristol City, who are now managed by former Barnsley boss Lee Johnson.

Johnson was the one who signed the promising defender from Brentford last summer.