Midfielder Conor Hourihane has been a breath of fresh air at Barnsley this season.
The Irishman is the Reds’ leading scorer this season with eight goals. And the former Plymouth skipper did the business again last weekend as his second-half penalty made sure the Reds picked up a point at home to table-toppers Bristol City.
But always his own most unrelenting critic, 23-year-old Hourihane is unhappy he’s not scored enough this term. “I know I’ve scored a few goals this season, but I’m a bit harsh on myself,” said Hourihane. “I think to myself that I should probably have scored 10 by now. It’s always nice to come away with a goal but looking at the grand scheme of things, well I could have probably had a couple more as well.
“I’m happy with eight goals so far, but there’s always room for improvement. Fingers crossed there’s more [goals] to come.”
Hourihane’s cool penalty helped the Reds move up one place to 15th in the League One table following their 2-2 draw with the unbeaten Robins.
And Hourihane is confident the Reds are now within touching distance of producing their best form, of what has been, an inconsistent season so far.
“We showed great character to get a good result,” he reflected. “We could have been the team to end their [Bristol’s’ unbeaten run, but in the end it was good to come out of the game with a point against a team who were flying.
“It’s fine margins in football. We’re not far off where we want to be, but we’re getting there. Hopefully the luck will change for us, but if we stick together, put in the hard work and keep performances in like we have, then we’ll pick up more points that we’ll lose. Unfortunately in the last couple of games there’s been a few ricochets that have fallen into people’s path and we’ve conceded.
“But hopefully in the next couple of games we’ll start to get some more points on the board to reward the way we’re playing.”
Barnsley striker Reuben Noble-Lazarus has joined Rochdale on loan until January 12. Noble-Lazarus, 21, has played just two minutes of league football this season.
The former Reds’ Academy scholar teams up with former Barnsley manager Keith Hill at Spotland.