HERBIE Kane was happy to be Barnsley captain on Tuesday night.

The 25-year-old midfielder wore the armband for the EFL Trophy game at Blackpool in midweek with usual skipper Jordan Williams on the bench.

Kane told the Chronicle: “It was good. The armband felt tight on my arm.

“I like to help other players on the pitch and get messages across. I feel I can help the young lads a lot. It doesn’t mean I go around shouting and b*llocking people. I just want them to improve and I don’t mind them doing that to me as well.”

Kane – who has played 96 games for the Reds – is one of several highly-rated midfielders at Oakwell including last season’s star men Adam Phillips and Luca Connell as well as Hungary international Callum Styles. Can they be playing better as a group?

“We can always be better. We have shown our qualities. There is always something to improve but we know we can. I think we’ve been good so far.

“We make opportunities and chances – if we put them away, it gives us a really good chance of going on a run.”

Kane became the first Barnsley player to score a league penalty in more than 18 months when he netted from the spot against Shrewsbury Town in October.

“It is something I haven’t been great at so I want to get better at it.

“That penalty against Shrewsbury was a big one for me. I want to be a penalty-taker in the future.

“I spoke to the staff near the start of the season and asked if I could be penalty-taker and they were happy with that.”

Barnsley are currently seventh, two points outside the play-off places.

“We’re making progress. As a fan you want it instantly but it takes time.

“We are working hard to find balance and consistency. We are trying to do things that help us win games.

“This time of year there are lots of games so it is important to keep points ticking in. You get in the play-offs by winning games around this time

“We need to make sure we do that.

“I don’t see why we can’t have a really strong second half of the season. We’re still on for promotion. If we keep consistent, it will take care of itself.”

Kane’s contract is due to expire at the end of the season. He said a deal was no closer to being agreed and he was focusing on playing.