ADAM Phillips says his first goal in more than eight months was a ‘weight off my shoulders’ and hopes to go on a scoring run now like this season while adding that Barnsley: ‘obviously want to push for top two.’

The midfielder, who turns 26 next month, scored eight league goals and added nine assists last season which ended with him being controversially sent off in the play-off final defeat.

He registered his first goal of this season when he opened the scoring in the 1-1 home draw with Charlton Athletic on Saturday. His fine strike into the top left corner from just inside the box ended a 25-game wait for a goal since April 15 at Forest Green Rovers.

Phillips told the Chronicle: “It’s a relief and a weight off my shoulders.

“That’s part of my game, getting goals and assists.

“A lot of people had high expectations after last season but I am still confident I can reach those numbers again.

“That sort of position is where I get quite a lot of goals – making a late run to the edge of the box.”

Why does he think he has struggled to score this season?

“Sometimes you just go through those periods.

“I am not an out and out striker.

“But I do get frustrated when I don’t score because it’s a big part of my game.

“I was doing it in training but it just wasn’t happening in games.

“Hopefully now I will get on a roll.”

Phillips broke into the Barnsley side about this time last year then became a regular scorer.

“I scored my first goal then got five in a row so it would be nice to do that again.”

Phillips has been in and out of the 11 this season with Callum Styles often starting ahead of him.

“There are a lot of good midfielders. Jon Russell is on the bench, there’s Stylesy, Benno (Josh Benson) when he’s back fit.

“You have to put in good performances when you get a chance.”

Barnsley are seventh, two points off the play-off places and six off the top two, after 20 games.

Phillips said: “It’s similar to last year.

“We have some games in hand and, if we win them, we will be right up there.

“Obviously we want to push for top two. We want to keep them in our reach by picking up our home form and getting points on the board.

“We can’t let them drift away.

“There are a lot of games over Christmas.

“We will need the whole squad and, if we can pick up a lot of points, we will be in a good position.”

On the Charlton game, Phillips said: “It was two good teams going at each other.

“Obviously we took the lead and we want to win our home games.

“They are a good team so we will take a point and move on.

“The second half last week (the 3-1 win at Reading) was good then we put in a pretty decent performance against Charlton.

“We had lots of chances. Charlton had chances too but they have good players.”