Herbie Kane is hoping to repay Valerien Ismael’s faith after the young midfielder was backed to be a regular starter in the Barnsley side. 

The 22-year-old central midfielder, who signed from Liverpool for about £1.25million last summer, spent most of the first half of the season as a back-up to Matty James and captain Alex Mowatt – coming off the bench 12 times and starting only four games.

But, after Barnsley head coach Ismael decided not to extend James’ loan this month, Kane is expected to start more although the likes of Romal Palmer and Callum Styles can also play in the middle. 

Kane told the Chronicle: “When you have the manager backing and supporting you and wanting you to play, it is good. 

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“But it all comes down to me and how I play. 

“Hopefully I can repay the gaffer by putting in good performances and getting wins.”

He added: “I am pleased I have been starting the last few games. Hopefully I can continue but I need to put in good performances to help the team. I have to give the manager a reason to put me in that starting 11.

“Matty James was an experienced player who has been around for a while now and he gave me good advice. 

“I used to ask him for his opinion a lot and take it on board. I took a lot from him, especially about communication.” 

Kane started against Tranmere Rovers in the FA Cup on Saturday alongside Mowatt who is the subject of speculation of a move away from Oakwell with his contract set to expire at the end of the season. 

“He’s a great player so it would be good to keep hold of him. I don’t really know his situation but he’s a good player and I enjoy playing with him.”

Kane is yet to score for Barnsley but did register his first assist when Michal Helik headed in his cross against Tranmere in the FA Cup on Sunday. 

As well as taking corners and free-kicks, Kane has been hurling in long throws for the Reds. 

“Getting an assist and helping the team is massive so hopefully I can get more. Hopefully I will get a goal myself soon and keep helping the team.”

Barnsley are due to host second-placed Swansea City tomorrow evening. 

The Reds are ninth in the Championship at the halfway point, three places and three points off the play-offs, with games this week against top six sides Swansea and Watford. 

“The boys are pretty much taking every game as it comes and focusing on the next one. We are pleased with how it’s going but will just focus on the Swansea game next.”