Barnsley: Thiam '˜living the dream' at Oakwell
Striker Mamadou Thiam says Barnsley have made his boyhood dreams come true.
Capped in the Senegal youth set-up, Thiam spent last season on loan at French second-tier club Clermont.
Head coach Paul Heckingbottom has given the player the chance to shine at Championship level.
And Thiam said: “My dream as a boy was to come and play in England.
“I can say that Barnsley have helped me realise my dream.
“I am very happy to be here, I love the city [town] and I love the guys in the team.
“The difficulty is the language, when I came here my English was very bad and now it’s not good, but it’s better.
“Barnsley’s a very quiet place and I like that.
“I’ve been recognised a couple of times whilst being out and that’s nice.”
Things have not clicked yet for the striker, with just a solitary goal from the penalty spot to his name.
He will be looking to right that this afternoon when the Reds play basement boys Bolton Wanderers.
And Thiam admits adapting to the rigours of Championship football has been tough so far.
He added: “The Championship is difficult because it’s more physical than what I’m used to.
“In France it’s not like that. When I came to England I saw Premier League games too at it’s fast and physical.
“It’s my first time in this league so it’s difficult. I need to work hard to become a Championship player.
“I am strong, but to play ninety minutes in the Championship is not easy.”
Heckingbottom has no fresh injury concerns ahead of the trip across the Pennines to the Macron.
Duo Lloyd Isgrove and Adam Jackson are still battling lengthy injuries and will be on the sidelines a little longer yet.
The Reds have not beaten Bolton since the 1998 FA Cup.
And they head to their roses rivals having lost three games on the spin without scoring a goal.
On the flipside Phil Parkinson has turned the Trotters’ terrible form around.
After eight league losses in a row, they have amassed 11 points from their last eight with just one defeat.