LUCA Connell was delighted with his first goal in English football and hopes to add more to Barnsley’s attack despite playing a defensive midfield role.
The 21-year-old struck a sweet opener from outside the box in the Reds’ 2-1 win at Peterborough United on Friday. His only previous goals have been for Queen’s Park in the Scottish third and fourth tiers while on loan from Celtic.
Connell told the Chronicle: “I was just thinking: ‘don’t panic, make sure you make good contact and hit the target.’ It just missed Devante Cole’s head and luckily it went in the corner.
“Goals don’t come round as often as I would like them to for me but I am going to try to get more goals and assists.
“When I came down, I set myself targets for the season and this is another one towards that.
“It was great to celebrate in front of the fans, they were brilliant for a Friday at Peterborough which is not a short journey. They came and supported us well and we can’t thank them enough.”
Connell has anchored the midfield recently in a 3-5-2 formation, but head coach Michael Duff told him last week he could start venturing forward more.
He said: “The role I have been given is to make sure the midfield is boxed off and let others go forwards.
“We spoke midweek and he said he was happy with what I was doing defensively but he wanted me to impact higher up and get assists and goals. I wanted that as well.
“He told me to get on the edge of the box, luckily it fell to me and went in.”
Connell is pleased with four straight wins, which have taken the Reds up to fourth in League One, but he is not thinking about promotion.
“It’s nowhere near the end of the season. You can’t get ahead of yourselves. We are just looking forward to the next game. We’re on a good run but it can be taken off us easily. We just need to work hard and keep going.”
Tom Edwards and Josh Benson limped off injured on Friday but Connell believes they can be replaced.
“We have got a big squad. You can see the impact the bench has had for us. The gaffer stresses the most that players are on the bench but they can come in and help us which is important.”