Williams, who turns 20 next month, joined from Huddersfield Town last summer but started just one League One match in his first seven months at the club, being restricted mainly to Checkatrade Trophy games.
He became Daniel Stendel’s first choice towards the end of the promotion campaign and was then handed the number two shirt which he has worn in the last two league matches after an injury-plagued start to the season.
Williams told the Chronicle: “To get straight back in the side is a good confidence boost from the gaffer. It’s good to know that he has kept faith in me. I have progressed a lot. This time last year, I was just waiting for my chance and learning what the gaffer wanted from me but now he trusts me and I just want to repay that trust. It is a big step up from League One but I am relishing the challenge.”
Barnsley have not won in their last eight games but have received praise for their performances in the last three fixtures. Williams said: “It has been tough because we have been playing well without getting the results. But all the players believe in what the manager wants us to do and we know that, if we are just a bit more clinical in front of goal, things will turn around for us. A win is definitely coming. Once we get that first goal, they will start coming for us and I think we will pick up a lot more points. If we get a couple of wins, we will climb up into mid-table and be well clear of the bottom three.”
Williams, who finished last season as the first choice right-back, injured his hip in pre-season then returned for the EFL Cup game against Carlisle United before a thigh problem kept him out for another month. But he has played the last two games and is one of several players to return from injury.
He said: “It’s great to be back in the team. It was a tough start to the season with two injuries but I have put all of that to bed now and I am fully fit. “It is good to have most of the squad coming back from injury because there were a lot of us out. The boys did really well in the game at Wigan when there were loads of injuries, they got a 0-0 draw and could have won it.”
Williams returned at left-back in the 2-0 loss to Leeds United two weeks ago then reverted to his usual right-back position on Saturday in the 1-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest. He said: “I find it the same on either side really. I am naturally right-footed but I can get forward and press and attack on either wing.”