LIAM Kitching has praised Barnsley’s medical staff for their support during his long wait for a debut which he finally made on Saturday.

The 21-year-old centre-back joined the Reds from League Two Forest Green Rovers in January but a groin injury that was expected to last just a matter of days put him out for four months and required surgery. He has been back in training since late April and was in the matchday squad for the first time on Saturday, coming on for the last eight minutes of a 2-2 draw with Norwich City. Kitching told the Chronicle: “The medical staff have been brilliant, helping me and bringing me up when I was a bit down.

“I couldn’t have done it without them.

“I saw Daryl Dike and Carlton Morris making a massive impact after signing, so I just wanted to get out there and show what I can do.

“It’s a good time to come back from injury. I just want to work hard in training, help the team and it’s up the manager if he wants to play me.”

He added: “It felt good to make my debut. It’s been a long process but it was good to finally get out there and put the red shirt on. It’s always hard with an injury like that and it was frustrating with a few setbacks.

“The gaffer (Valerien Ismael) has been really good with me, checking up with me and supporting me. It’s not been nice but I am over the top of it now.”

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Kitching has been in play-offs before with Harrogate Town in 2019 when they were a National League club and he was on loan from Leeds United. They lost 3-1 at AFC Fylde.