JOSH Benson admits he’s still got something to prove to the Reds faithful after spending months out of action through injury - but he’s determined to help Barnsley back into the Championship this season.

The 24-year-old has not played for the first team since November but has been on the bench three times in recent weeks, without picking up any minutes.

He played the full 90 minutes in the Barnsley u21s match against Coventry City on Tuesday, registering an assist for Aaron Atkinson in a 3-1 win.

He told the Chronicle: “It’s good to get the minutes in - I can still feel it in my legs.

“There’s a little international break now and hopefully I can come back flying for the rest of the season.

“It’s been frustrating because I’ve been wanting to get on (in the first-team games).

“But now I feel fully fit, that’s another 90 minutes in the tank, so I hope I can impact games when needed.”

The former Arsenal and Burnley youth product said the past few months has been ‘frustrating’ and tough for him mentally.

“It’s been a bit of a struggle mentally but I’ve had to crack on,” he added.

“It’s been one after another with the injuries.

“I just need to make sure I’m fully fit and when the manager needs me I’m at my best

“It’s been frustrating - all I want to do is play football and show what I can do on the pitch.

“It’s what I’ve grown up doing but I haven’t been able to.

“I’ve had to keep my head down and it’s good to be back out there on the pitch.”

He heaped praise on the backroom staff at Oakwell who have helped him through his various injuries - and he’s now keen to show the Reds faithful what he can do on the pitch.

So far he’s scored five goals in 78 games for the Reds, three of which were in League One, one in the FA Cup and the other in the EFL Cup.

“I’ve been focusing on my rehab and trying to get as fit as possible,” he added.

“We had Vikki (Stevens, former club physio) but she’s left now - she was a lot of help for me.

“Adam and Sarah who are here now are quality as well.

“I’ve shown in spells what I can do but injuries have set me back.

“I’ve tried new things, new diets and exercises - so hopefully I can stay fit for the time being.”

Barnsley are currently seven points off second-place Derby County with a game in hand, and are ten points clear in the play-off places.

The Reds host Cambridge United a week today and then have an action-packed April with six matches - and Benson is hoping he can play his part in the club’s promotion push.

“Promotion is the key thing and for me personally it’s trying to force myself into the team and get minutes as well,” he said.