Barnsley: Hot-shot Hourihane out to fire Reds up the table

Conor Hourihane
Conor Hourihane
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New-boy Conor Hourihane has wasted little time in making his mark at Barnsley.

But the ambitious Irishman hopes his best is yet to come at Oakwell.

Midfielder Hourihane has arguably been the Reds’ best player this season with a string of impressive performances in the middle of the park.

And with six goals already this term it’s hardly surprising that the former Plymouth Argyle scooped the League One player of the month award for August.

“It’s nice to get off the mark with a few goals,” admitted a modest Hourihane, speaking exclusively to The Star.

“But it’s bitter sweet to be honest because you never want to play well personally and then see the team lose.

“Barnsley showed a lot of faith in signing me this summer, so it’s great to hit the ground running.

“To score six goals in seven games is great, I would never really imagined doing that so early in the season.

“But it’s up to me keep going now and push on. Scoring those goals and playing well has given me a lot of confidence.

“Winning the League One player of the month award has also given me a lot of confidence.

“I’m still new to this division, but I’ve enjoyed my start and don’t feel out of place.

“I know there’s more to come from me, but that is down to me.”

The Reds strung together a welcome five-game unbeaten run as they climbed into the top half of the league table and progressed to the second round of the JP Trophy.

But even three goals from Hourihane couldn’t prevent the Reds from slipping to a 5-3 home loss to MK Dons and a 2-1 away defeat to Port Vale last Saturday.

And down to 19th in the table – their lowest standing all season - having picked up one point from a possible nine, is not where Hourihane sees the Reds.

“It’s not as if we’ve played badly in the last few games, but we need to re-group and go again,” said Hourihane.

“As a group we know we really need to improve defensively, it’s a collective effort.

“We’ve got a good opportunity to get up where we belong over the next couple of weeks.

“We’ve got a lot of homes games and that’s a good chance to get some points on the board.

“We are a new side and pretty young, but we can’t keeping hiding behind that excuse for much longer. It’s up to us to get the results we want.”

The Reds host high-fliers Swindon Town on Saturday, one of four home games in their next six league fixtures.

And Hourihane knows he has his teammates face a tough test against opponents who are unbeaten in their last seven matches in all competitions.

“Swindon will be a tough game for us, but they’re all tough games in this division,” added the 23-year-old.

“We know that and we’ll do our homework on Swindon this week and try and get a win in front of our home supporters.

“A win against a form side like them could be the start of another unbeaten run for us. That’s what we’ll be aiming for.”