MICHAL Helik says last season’s home game with Huddersfield Town was the highlight of his club career so far and hopes that another win in that fixture tomorrow will kickstart Barnsley’s rise up the table.
The 26-year-old Polish international centre-back netted both goals in a 2-1 win over the Terriers on Boxing Day, including a 93rd-minute winner.
He told the Chronicle: “It was the highlight of my career, to score two goals in a derby game. I was only sad that the fans were not there but it was a big moment for me. I hope for another win this time in front of fans.
“We need to win but to create momentum you need to win more than one game to feel that confidence. We need to win a few games in a row to build momentum.”
Helik scored six goals in total last season but has not netted yet this campaign in which he has played every minute so far. He said: “It is frustrating but we changed a little bit the philosophy.
“We have created less set pieces this season but I missed some opportunities and I hope I will score soon.”
Helik is one of Barnsley’s star players who has been the target of approaches from other clubs, mainly overseas, this year. Further interest is expected in the January transfer window for the defender who will have one year left on his contract at the end of this season.
Asked if he expects to see out the season at Oakwell, he told the Chronicle: “I am not thinking about that. I just focus on the training and games. I am happy to play football and I don’t think once about my future or the January window.”
The Reds finished fifth last season – having won six games in December – but are second-bottom, eight points from safety after 20 games of which they have won just two. Helik said: “It’s serious. We are disappointed about the results we have already but now it is a fresh start. I hope that, like last season, the Christmas time will be good for us. We know we can get a lot of points in December like last season.
“I hope we can reach a similar number of points in that time. The Championship is a league of momentum and if you get it you can get a lot of points in a short period. I am sure we will be able to do it.
“We still feel we can stay in the league and we fight for this every day.”
On the drop-off from last season, Helik said: “It is a big change but football is like that. This season is a tough moment for us but we are in that moment, we have forgotten about last season.
“I think we know how to solve this problem and we will be better soon.”
Helik is enjoying working under new head coach Poya Asbaghi who has been in charge of two matches and now has had his first full week in training.
“It’s good for us, it’s a fresh start for everyone. It’s time to learn his philosophy. After a really good week we are closer to each other and the new staff and we know more how he wants to play and how we want to play. It was a difficult first week but we took a lot from it, we kept a first clean sheet in a long time (in Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Peterborough).”
Barnsley are the lowest scorers in the Championship with 13 in 20 games so far.
“Goals is the problem but we need to create more as a team. We were training on that this week and I hope we can show that in the next games. We have enough quality to start scoring the goals and I think we will do it.”