LUCA Connell said it was a ‘pleasure’ to lead Barnsley out at Oakwell as captain on Saturday - and he insists the race for the top two is not yet over.

The 22-year-old midfielder was one of the Reds’ star players last season but missed the first three months of this campaign with post-viral fatigue.

He has made 19 appearances in the league so far this season, having also missed two games in January with a small injury then a stomach bug.

Connell captained the Reds in Saturday’s 0-0 draw against Cheltenham for the first time ever in the league, having led the team out against Bradford City in the EFL Cup last year.

Regular captain Jordan Williams dropped to the bench for a ‘rest’ after playing the full 90 minutes in every league game this season.

He told the Chronicle: “It was a pleasure to captain this football club and follow in Jordan’s footsteps.

“He’s our leader in the changing room as well as on the pitch.

“It was good for me personally but I’m sure Jordan will be back before we know it.”

Saturday’s draw at Oakwell leaves the Reds seven points adrift of Derby County who sit in second.

The Reds’ mediocre home form also continued.

But Connell said the race for automatic promotion isn’t over just yet.

“I don’t think we can look into it (the home form) too much and we don’t feel to much of a difference,” he added.

“When we’re playing well the fans are getting behind us and that helps.

“It’s just down to us to start quickly - we’ve conceded a few early goals which is killing us - and get on the front foot.

“In this league there’s still some big games to happen.

“Anything can happen and anyone can beat anyone.

“I think seven points if you’re playing three games each week you can catch up pretty quickly if you’re getting three points a game.

“We just need to be positive and dust ourselves down.”