Barnsley: Ryan Hedges looking to secure a bright future for Reds – and himself
Ryan Hedges knows that it will not just be Barnsley's fate that is decided in the next seven games.
The Reds winger is out of contract in the summer and after an injury-hit season, where he has managed just 20 appearances, his future is in the balance.
He had to wait until October to make his first appearance of the season and then after a run of games suffered more injury problems before Christmas.
The 23-year-old is at least buoyed by his recent exploits with Wales, where he earned a first start in the friendly win over Trinidad and Tobago.
Hedges is keen to stay at Oakwell and hopes helping Daniel Stendel's men to finish the job in their pursuit of League One promotion could be enough to earn a fresh contract.
“My chances (at Barnsley) have been limited this season through no fault of my own, with injuries, and it has been quite a difficult season personally,” he said. “But these next seven games are what matters now and hopefully I can kick on.
“I really enjoy the club and like being here and it is a really good group. We will see what happens.
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“There were a couple of mentions with Gauthier (Ganaye), the old chief executive, but now that a new one has come in we will have to play it by ear.”
Hedges has had taste of international football for Wales before but was handed his full senior start in the most recent break last month.
And he believes having the faith of manager Ryan Giggs has provided him with a big boost in confidence.
"That is all you really need from a manager and when I went to Wales,” he added. “I just wanted to show what I could do as I knew Ryan Giggs has faith in me.
“When he told me I was starting, he said I was here on merit and told me to work hard and enjoy the occasion. I felt I did and have taken it back to Barnsley.
"To be acknowledged by your national coach is a great honour, especially to come from a player like Ryan. Hopefully, I can still be a part of that squad coming into the next qualifiers.”