JAMIE McCart ‘absolutely loves’ playing for Barnsley where he is now set to remain for the rest of the season.

The centre-back has played 21 games for the Reds since signing on loan from Rotherham United late in the summer window.

The Millers have since changed manager and struggled with injuries in defence.

But the Reds would have to agree to sending him back in the current January transfer window, and Rotherham boss Leam Richardson confirmed this week that McCart would be staying at Barnsley.

After Monday’s game with Wigan, McCart told the Chronicle: “It’s out of my hands. It’s between the clubs.

“But I absolutely love playing here and I want to repay the faith the gaffer and club have shown in me.”

McCart missed Friday’s draw at Peterborough with a groin problem that had forced him off three days earlier at Port Vale, but returned for Monday’s draw.

“It was frustrating to miss Peterborough but it was too close. I was happy to be back for Wigan.”

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Barnsley are hoping to sign a centre-back to compete with the current back three of McCart, Jordan Williams and Mael de Gevigney.

On the current defence, McCart said: “It’s very good.

“You come up against different tests each week but we have handled them well. We can always improve on different things but I am enjoying playing with them.”

McCart believes the sixth-placed Reds go into 2024 in a good position to challenge for promotion, if they can put together more consistent 90-minute performances.

“It’s clicking into place.

“Everyone is starting to find their place in the team and settle.

“That has shown in our performances. The first half has been very good recently so we need to take that on for 90 minutes.”

Barnsley now do not play for 12 days. McCart said: “It’s good to have a break.

“There are niggles here and there.

“It’s disappointing to be out of the FA Cup. But the break is probably a blessing in disguise.”

Is McCart happy with eight points from four games in nine days over the festive period?

“It’s a decent return, especially against the teams we’ve faced

“Considering we were leading the last two games, it’s a wee bit disappointing we didn’t get more points. But there are very good teams in this league and every game is going to be a fight. We can take a lot of positives.”