Matty James is looking forward to returning to the only ground he has scored at for Barnsley and coming up against his former colleague Wayne Rooney tomorrow.

The Reds are due to visit Derby County, where James opened the scoring in a 2-1 loss during his loan spell in 2017. It is his only goal since 2014 and one of seven in his career.

James told the Chronicle: “I scored there so it would be nice to do it again.

“But it’s more about putting our last game (Tuesday’s 3-0 loss in Cardiff) to bed, and trying to pick up three points at Derby.”

James began his career at Manchester United and, although he never made an appearance, was around the club at the same time as former England captain Rooney who is now at Derby.

“Wayne is obviously a massive player and, for him to be in the Championship, a lot of players will be excited to play against him. But we just have to focus on us and winning the game.”

James arrived on deadline day last month on loan from Leicester City until January, having not started a league match in two and a half years.

He played in the 1-1 draw at Millwall under caretaker Adam Murray before Valerien Ismael took over as head coach. The Frenchman won his first two games before Tuesday’s beating.

James, who has started three games and come off the bench once, said: “Adam Murray was very good and got the team through the games he had, then the new gaffer has been excellent.

“He has high standards, and what he expects from each game is different.

“I think he and the way he wants to play will be good for the club.

“I think we would have taken six points from the last three games.

“With the start that Barnsley had, the positive is that we have put points on the board. We’re not going to win every single game. But we just have to make sure that, when we do lose, we learn.

“Personally, I am happy. I feel like I am getting a little bit fitter each game.

“They do come thick and fast and my body is still adapting but it’s been fantastic for me to play again. I am making sure I am training between games and make sure I don’t miss anything.”