Barnsley: Skipper Hourihane desperate to lead Reds out at Wembley

Conor Hourihane
Conor Hourihane
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New Reds skipper Conor Hourihane wants to lead his side out at Wembley.

The Irish playmaker has had the captain’s armband since the 2-0 defeat to Wigan in December, but has since played a key part in back-to-back home victories.

Hourihane is relishing the new role handed to him by boss Lee Johnson, and is keen to do all he can to take his team to the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final.

“Everyone wants to go to Wembley,” said Hourihane, whose side host Fleetwood on Saturday in the first leg of the Northern Area final.

“It will be fantastic. It’s over two legs so it’s important to get a result on Saturday to go into the next leg.

“Fingers crossed we get through them two games and we do get there.

“But we have to obviously put in a good performance, have a good week’s training and hopefully we’ll get the right result.

“The majority of your fans come to home games so it’s really important to get some good wins in front of your home crowd to get them on your side.

“The last two wins have been massive and I’m sure there’ll be another good performance, another good atmosphere and a big turnout on Saturday.”

Hourihane took over captaincy from Alfie Mawson as Johnson looked to ease the pressure on the 21-year-old centre-back.

And although the new skipper is only 24 himself, he is grateful to his manager for the chance to set an example to one of the league’s youngest squads.

He added: “The gaffer had a word with me, he felt maybe it was the best thing to pass it on to someone and I was the one chosen.

“I’m one of the lucky ones that Lee has shown a bit of faith in to give me the armband and I have to keep performing on the pitch to keep repaying him.

“I’m grateful to the gaffer for giving it to me so I just need to keep going the way I am.

“I just need to be one of the first in one of the last out, I feel like I’m a good trainer every day and on a decent level with all the lads.

“Two good wins is maybe a bit of luck that’s needed when someone puts that faith in you.

“I’m enjoying it and hopefully it will continue.”

Meanwhile, Barnsley’s trip to Bradford has been rescheduled for Tuesday 26 January at 7.45pm.

The Reds had been due to take on the Bantams in a Yorkshire derby this weekend, but the game has been moved due to Bradford’s continued participation in the FA Cup.