BARNSLEY FC: Oakwell Player of the Year aims to soar against old club Seagulls

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BARNSLEY defender Jimmy McNulty is relishing doing battle with his former club Brighton.

McNulty scooped the Players’ Player of the Year award at the Reds’ annual awards dinner earlier this week.

And the 27-year-old, who has played 44 times this season since making the move from the Seagulls in the summer, is determined to finish the season on a high against his former employees.

The Reds have slid down the Championship table in the second half of the season, but can still climb as many as three places if they win their last game of the domestic campaign today.

“It’s hard to get away from the disappointing finish we’ve had to the season,” McNulty admitted.

“Our form was without doubt relegation form; we’ve had the worst form in the league.

“But we got all those points in the first half of the season, so it really has been a tale of two halves.

“We were fantastic in the first half of the season and quite often trying to keep a lid on talk of getting into the play-offs, but we deserve to stay up because we’ve got the points on the board.”

McNulty played 15 times for the Seagulls but his spell there was blighted by injury.

The defender said: “To be recognised by your peers is very nice. It was special.

“First and foremost it was trying to get a run of five or six games so I could establish confidence in my body after my injuries. I feel as though I got better as the season went on, it was about finding that confidence that I was a Championship player.”