LUCA Connell is pleased to have contributed three assists in Barnsley’s last two league games and is looking forward to the competition provided by the arrival of new midfield options.

The 21-year-old central midfielder has been a regular starter in recent weeks, with his crosses setting up both goals in a 2-2 draw at Ipswich Town then James Norwood’s decisive header in the 2-0 win at local rivals Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.

Connell said: “It’s good to get your numbers up. That’s what every player tries to do.

“It’s good to get assists from my set pieces and now hopefully I can get a couple of goals. But the main thing is the team wins.”

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Connell has been competing with Josh Benson and Matty Wolfe for a place in midfield but the Reds have also signed Adam Phillips while Herbie Kane has returned from injury.

He said: “You want a tough squad and good competition, with good players starting and coming off the bench. We will all push each other in training to be better.”

Connell spent the last two seasons playing on loan from Celtic to Queen of the South in the Scottish third and fourth tier.

How is he finding League One?

“I’m enjoying it. I knew there would be no easy games and we’ve had a very tough run. There’s no one we think we will roll over.

“Every game is tough and we just hope we come out with a win.”

Connell is also enjoying playing under Michael Duff.

“The gaffer has come in and been great from the minute he walked in. It’s good to play under him and he’s so clear with what he wants. We’ve been putting in performances but the gaffer has stressed results will follow.”