Barnsley: Reds pair target promotion push

Conor Hourihane and Josh Scowen
Conor Hourihane and Josh Scowen
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Barnsley’s dynamic midfield duo Conor Hourihane and Josh Scowen are both confident the club challenge for promotion next season.

Irishman Hourihane and Scowen hit it off in the centre of the park for the Reds last term. Between them the pair played nearly 100 games as regular first team starters.

Arguably the club’s player of the season, Hourihane played a staggering 53 times last term, while Scowen made 41 appearances as Lee Johnson’s side toyed with the play-offs for a short time.

And both players want to kick on in the forthcoming campaign and build on their blossoming partnership from last term.

“I enjoyed playing with Conor in midfield, we’ve struck up a really good partnership,” reflected Scowen.

“We’re both different players and I think we compliment each other really well.

“He’s got a deadly left foot and had a great season for us. He scored a lot of goals and his dead-ball deliveries are massive for us. I’d like to chip in with a few more goals like him, but I’m a different player.

“He’s more attacking and has got license to attack, where as I break the play up a bit more and win a few more tackles. That’s why we work well together.”

Hourihane, who top-scored for the Reds last season with 14 goals, is rumoured to have attracted interest from a number of notable suitors who want to try and lure him away from Oakwell.

The Cork-born playmaker remains resolute he’s staying in South Yorkshire next season. And Scowen hopes his teammate stays as the Reds look to mount a promotion charge back to the Championship.

“Hopefully he [Conor] stays, he’s a big player for us,” admitted Scowen. “I enjoyed my football last season and playing with him, so hopefully we can build on that partnership this season.”

Hourihane, who scooped the club’s Player of the Season award, shares Scowen’s view.

And with boss Johnson having recruited a couple of new players – and young players flourishing at the club – the 24-year-old is very hopeful of a successful 2015-16 season.

“I do believe the best three teams in the division went up last season, so the League is wide open this season,” stressed Hourihane.

“We’ve got some good young players who are only going to get better and the manager has signed some new players, which always gives everyone a new boost.

“And I imagine there’s a few more to come as well, which is great for next season.

“It’s exciting for everyone because we all want to challenge for promotion. That’s the target.”

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