Barnsley: New boy takes pal’s advice

Ryan Tunnicliffe
Ryan Tunnicliffe
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BARNSLEY’s new loan signing Ryan Tunnicliffe took some expert advice before joining the Championship club.

Manchester United loan recruit Tunnicliffe asked his pal, Danny Drinkwater, just what life at Oakwell was like.

And the response from former Reds ace Drinkwater, who was a fans’ favourite in his loan spell with the club, left Tunnicliffe in no doubt he’d made the right decision.

Drinkwater’s performances earnt him a permanent deal with Leicester City and regular Championship football.

“I spoke to him [Drinkwater] before I made the decision to come here and he was the one that tipped me over the edge,” revealed Tunnicliffe, speaking exclusively to The Star.

“His support really helped me make my decision.

“It’s a bigger and better stage playing in the Championship to show the boss [Sir Alex Ferguson] what I can do and that hopefully I can break into his first team.

“I just want to play. This team are on the up and the Manchester United reserve-team manager [Warren Joyce] knows them well, so I asked around and he said that he [David Flitcroft] was a great manager.

“I feel as though I’ve fitted in really well. The group of lads suit my style of game, they play with a lot of energy. I think I’ll fit in fine.

“You get to a certain point in your career when you want to get out and prove yourself.

“I played with TK [Tom Kennedy] at Peterborough last year and used to see Luke Steele at United, although he was a bit older than me.

“And I’ve played against Jacob Mellis when he was at Chelsea, so it helps knowing a few of the lads.”

Tunnicliffe added jokingly: “It’s close enough to home for me as well, so that helps.”

The midfielder debuted in the Reds’ disappointing 5-3 away defeat to then basement side Bristol City on Saturday at Ashton Gate.

The 20-year-old looked assured in front of a three-man central-defensive partnership, but believes there’s plenty more to come as he gets to know the Reds’ style of play better.

“It was good to get my first game under my belt,” said Tunnicliffe, who was on loan at Peterborough United last season.

“But we kept going until the end of the game and we’ve got to be proud of the spirit we showed.

“When you come away from home and you score three goals, well the majority of the time you win the game.

“But unfortunately for us they scored five and Jon Stead was a handful all day for them up front.

“We didn’t quite deal with him when we should have and set-pieces killed us really.”