JON RUSSELL says he is working hard to make sure he is ready to ‘jump straight in’ to Barnsley’s team when called up in the promotion run-in.

The midfielder has started 18 league games and come off the bench in eight others this season but has only started five in the last four months since Luca Connell returned from illness.

He partnered Connell in Tuesday’s win at Carlisle as Herbie Kane was suspended.

Russell told the Chronicle: “I am always ready.

“I always want to get the highest stats in training and do extra work in the gym. There are no excuses not to come into the team and play well. I am happy it paid off and I want to carry that on.

“It is difficult because you want to get into a rhythm and have a run of games.

“But that’s what football is and it’s not my first time.

“I know what I need to do to keep on track and what I need to do now to help the team when I jump in.”

Russell headed in what proved to be the winning goal on Tuesday, his fourth of the season.

“With my height I can keep improving on that and be more of a threat. I am happy to get another header from a set piece.”

Barnsley’s win came after a 5-1 home loss to Lincoln City on Saturday.

“The main thing was the result. We want momentum for next week. We didn’t want last weekend’s performance to extend into this week.”

The result was Barnsley’s 11th away win of the season.

“We’ve had massive support from the fans. It always helps. Away performances and results have been good. But we’re capable of keeping that going home or away.”