SAM COSGROVE admits Barnsley’s end to the season was ‘incredibly disappointing’ but was delighted with his own personal performances in the play-offs which he hopes to build on for next season.

The striker netted as a substitute in the first leg of the semi-final, a 3-1 loss at home to Bolton Wanderers, then started the second leg on Saturday and scored twice as the Reds won 3-2 but went out on aggregate.

Cosgrove told the Chronicle: “From a personal point of view, it couldn’t have gone much better. But the ultimate goal was to win the game by two or more goals and give our fans a trip to Wembley. It’s not happened.”

Cosgrove started just nine league games this season, mainly being an understudy to Devante Cole and John McAtee.

“It’s been frustrating in terms of gametime but that’s partly due to how well Macca and D have done up front.

“Recently D especially has not quite found the goals he did at the start of the season. But he’s quality and you have to show faith. It was a case of me being ready when called upon.”

Cosgrove is on a long-term contract but many of his colleagues’ deals expire this summer.

“There will be a lot of players leaving, I think. We have a decent nucleus going forward. We’ll learn from this year and hopefully the club can bring in quality.

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“I am sure everyone behind the scenes will work hard when we’re lying on a beach. Hopefully it’s an exciting season and we can go one better.”

Barnsley won just three of their last 14 games.

“The last few weeks have been incredibly disappointing. After Derby (a 2-1 win in late February) we were potentially favourites for the automatic spots but it didn’t happen for whatever reason.”

The poor form led to Neill Collins being sacked and interim coach Martin Devaney leading the Reds into the play-offs.

“It would have been asking a lot for Martin to change too much. He tweaked little bits over the two legs. We held our own and gave ourselves a chance but just fell short.”

He added: “We are proud of the way we went about our business but disappointed we’re out the play-offs and the season is finished. Trying to come back from two goals on multiple occasions against a team like this, you give yourselves a mountain to climb. We dug in and gave it our best but ultimately fell short.

“Recently set pieces have been a real issue. There has been plenty of work. going on behind the scenes. But we switched off at the wrong moments.”