Dominik Frieser has been working hard in the gym so that he can compete better in the Championship.

The Austrian forward has played 44 of Barnsley’s 46 games this season, and has often been in the starting line-up in recent weeks.

Frieser told the Chronicle: “I am happy with the starts. I changed some things.

“I did more work in the gym because I recognised that the Championship is a little bit different football and you have to be physically on another level.

“I tried to work on this and now I am getting better and better. I need to be stronger to compete in more battles.”

Frieser enjoyed the two-week international break before this week’s games against Reading and Luton.

“It was good for us to calm down and have a break then come back. I think it was the first time in months that we trained for a whole week. You can see we are really fresh.”

Frieser worked under Reds head coach Valerien Ismael at Austrian club LASK last season and credited the Frenchman with giving Barnsley extra belief since arriving at Oakwell in October.

“He brings an unbelievable mentality to us, which is the important thing.

“We know now we are good footballers and have everything for a good team but maybe he opened our eyes so that we can see this. Before we didn’t show it on the pitch. He showed us some skills and now it works on the pitch.”

Frieser has worked his way up through the Austrian lower leagues and could reach the Premier League with Barnsley who are fifth in the Championship.

“It’s been a great journey. I never thought this would happen maybe five years ago but I worked hard every day.

“I wanted to play in England or Germany and it’s great to do that.

“But it’s not over, I hope I can play longer and at a higher level with Barnsley. I am happy to be here and try to help the team with my attitude and everything I can bring to them.

“I am not thinking about the Premier League, I take it game by game.”