Victor Adeboyejo was delighted to make his first Championship start this week and is grateful to Valerien Ismael for making him feel ‘wanted’.
The 22-year-old striker has been brought back into the Barnsley side in the last month, after spending last season out on loan, coming off the bench in five successive games including the 2-0 win at Derby County in which he scored.
He was rewarded for some impressive displays with his first Championship start and his first in the league for the Reds since March last year in Tuesday’s 2-1 win at Birmingham City. Adeboyejo told the Chronicle: “At least your toes aren’t freezing cold when you start a game, like they are when you come on as a sub. It was amazing to start in the Championship after watching it over the years. It is a very high standard.”
He added: “The gaffer has come in and given me a chance straight off the bat. He let me know that I am wanted and he’s given me confidence to express myself and I am grateful for the opportunity. From the first day he told me my qualities are something he wants in the squad. We’ve had very good strikers like Kieffer Moore and Cauley (Woodrow) but now there is gap and hopefully I can take that chance. I have just had to wait for my time. Hopefully I have shown some extra strength and power.
“I have always backed myself and I am confident in my abilities.”
Victor played on the right of a front three in Birmingham, alongside Cauley Woodrow and Conor Chaplin. He said: “It’s something I am still trying to adapt to and get in more dangerous positions. But I am getting used to it and I enjoyed every minute of it.”
Adeboyejo’s contract is due to expire at the end of this season. He told the Chronicle: “I am just trying to focus on the football as much as I can, and that side will be sorted out when it is time.
“I am just focusing on the challenge of the Championship. I have always said every time I put on a Barnsley shirt that I can do anything. I have really enjoyed my time at the club and, if that’s going to be longer, then it will be.”
Adeboyejo is one of several young players to have been given another chance in the first team by Ismael, under whom George Miller has also played while Romal Palmer scored his first goal for the club on Saturday. He said: “These are the players we have in our ranks and you see the quality in every single one.
“The gaffer has given a lot of us an opportunity and we just need to keep showing him we’re able.
“It’s so good to have people on that journey with you. Callum Brittain has been brilliant, and so has Callum Styles. We all help each other through it.”