New boy Wilkinson says Reds can achieve ‘big things’

Conor Wilkinson
Conor Wilkinson
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Barnsley new boy Conor Wilkinson believes the Reds are ‘capable of big things’ following his move from Championship side Bolton last week.

After a whirlwind 24 hours which saw him sign a loan agreement on Friday, Wilkinson was named in the starting line-up for Saturday’s visit to Stalybridge Celtic.

From what he has seen of his team-mates so far, he is confident that his new side can push for promotion in the upcoming campaign.

“This squad can achieve big things,” he told The Star. “It’s looked capable of big things every season and hopefully we can push on towards the top of the table this year.

“I joined in training on Friday and I felt I fitted in really well. Obviously I can’t come here and walk straight into the team.

“Some of the lads are in good form already, but I’ll work hard to get my chances during the season and hopefully I’ll get in and do myself justice.”

The 20-year-old played a deeper role on Saturday as part of a front three alongside Sam Winnall and fellow new signing Marley Watkins.

Although Wilkinson has all the attributes required to lead the line, he is happy to play a more withdrawn role in order to see more of the ball.

“I don’t mind playing that role,” he added. “I feel it gets the best out of me in some games, it depends how the game is going. I like to get the ball into feet and run at players.”

Having thrown his new recruit in at the deep end, Barnsley boss Lee Johnson was pleased with his overall performance against Stalybridge.

“I thought he did well, you can see what he’s got,” he said. “People will see that his touch is good and he’s got a little shift of pace. He had a couple of shots and he’s tall enough to win headers, although he’s not just an aerial threat.

“That front group was alright and we had some nice play, it was just the final ball that let us down on a few occasions.”

Barnsley are back in pre-season action at 7pm this evening as they take on newly-promoted National League side Guiseley at Nethermoor.