JAMIE McCart, who has experienced automatic promotion, play-off victory and play-off defeat, is hoping this season ends in another promotion with Barnsley.

The 26-year-old centre-back won the Scottish League One play-offs with Alloa Athletic in 2018 then lost in the Scottish Championship play-offs with Inverness Caledonian Thistle the next year.

He also played eight times for Leyton Orient, on loan from parent club Rotherham, in the second half of last season when they won the League Two title.

The Reds – who lost the play-off final last year – still have an outside chance of automatic promotion in League One this season but, if they miss out, look likely to compete in the play-offs again.

McCart told the Chronicle: “I came in at the end of it with Orient. It was still a great feeling but a lot of hard work has gone into this season and I’ve been here all year. It would be more special.

“If it is the play-offs, it’s a great format and it’s that wee bit sweeter when you do win it. I have had different experiences. For Alloa at the time getting into the Championship was massive.

“I lost out with Inverness as well so I know both sides of it.

“The season goes on for two weeks when everyone is finished but the ultimate goal is so close. The chance of going to Wembley is incredible. I am sure everyone wants to go back there.”

On his future, McCart said: “I am contracted to Rotherham. As far as I know I will be going back there in the summer.

“I am fully focused on promotion with Barnsley and I have loved every minute here.”

McCart was a regular starter on the left of the back three for most of the first half of the season after signing late in the summer window. But he missed six weeks early in 2024 with an injury then found himself on the bench with January signing Donovan Pines starting.

But American Pines’ season-ending injury has allowed the Scotsman back into the team, starting the last three games in the middle of the back three.

“It was difficult with the injury and the timing of it just after the New Year. I had similar last year. It was a really frustrating but I just made sure I worked hard, came back as quick as I could and tried to put myself in contention for the team.

“It’s really disappointing for Donovan, coming over then getting an injury like that. It’s football. It’s what happened to me as well earlier in the season.”

McCart is yet to score in 26 appearances for the Reds, with his last goal more than two years ago for St Johnstone.

“I would like to get one. I have had a few chances I wish I had taken. If I can contribute that way it will definitely help.

“Tom (Fawdry) the goalkeeping coach who does our set pieces, has been on to us about defenders scoring more. You see the teams at the top are very good at set pieces. It’s something we could be better at with the quality we have.”