As Barnsley look to proceed their relentless promotion cost, following play-off disappointment final season, John McAtee has turn out to be a mainstay for the south Yorkshire membership.
The 24-year-old ahead – on a season-long mortgage from Premier League newcomers Luton – has chipped in with 9 objectives and three assists in all competitions throughout his time at Oakwell to this point.
His efforts have helped the Tykes climb to fifth in Sky Guess League One and – with the play-off locations so congested – to inside 4 factors of present leaders Portsmouth.
“It (the sensation across the camp) is nice,” the in-form ahead advised Sky Sports activities after successful Sky Guess League One Aim of the Month for December.
“The outcomes are beginning to choose up, we have actually improved – particularly performance-wise. Possibly just a few extra additions in January can actually (assist us) push for that promotion spot.”
Barnsley have discovered themselves in great kind beneath Neill Collins, with the Scotsman actually implementing his most popular type after becoming a member of in the summertime.
They’ve scored in 25 of their 27 league video games up to now and the midweek win over Oxford prolonged their unbeaten run to 11 video games.
McAtee says that the devoted and trusting relationship between himself and Collins has been an integral a part of the advance of his goalscoring prowess this season.
“I would say the largest factor for me personally, is confidence, placing belief in myself to exit and play,” he provides.
“Particularly not too long ago, I’ve began taking part in much more repeatedly, quite than after I first got here, I used to be form of out and in of the squad and I can solely thank him for that.”
Throughout the midst of the December festivities, McAtee handled followers to 2 Christmas crackers that meant the ahead achieved the uncommon feat of getting not one, however two strikes nominated for Sky Guess League One Aim of the Month.
Firstly, for his outrageous no-look, hooked lob over Stevenage’s Taye Ashby-Hammond. Then simply three days later, he produced a sensational long-range strike to assist his aspect cruise previous Port Vale.
McAtee broke down precisely what was going via his thoughts earlier than making an attempt the audacious lob towards Stevenage.
“I simply made a run in behind. We might labored on it that week, getting in behind the defence and issues like that. The ball popped up, I had somewhat look, I noticed the ‘keeper was off the road and simply went for it! When it went in, I used to be simply buzzing!”
Regardless of this clear thought course of, the extraordinarily humble McAtee stated he was, the truth is, shocked the ball ended up at the back of the web, which may very well be inferred from his unintentional Eric Cantona-esque, nonchalant celebration.
“I used to be in shock. I did not comprehend it was going to go in. I did not imply to appear like Cantona, but when I did, I will take it!” he jokingly remarked.
Surely, each have been unbelievable and doubtlessly worthy winners, however it was McAtee’s lob towards Stevenage that took the award. Whereas the ahead’s long-range effort towards Port Vale missed out on the award this time, McAtee defined his resolution to strike from such a far distance was all the way down to fatigue.
“I will be actual with you, I used to be knackered! I had simply pressed the centre-half and simply thought, I will hit it!”.
However which was his favorite?
“So technique-wise, you’ll say immediately that the one which gained the award is best. I am shocked that aim gained as, if somebody shoots from 30 yards and it hits the again of the web, you’d count on that one to win the prize. Although it was in all probability a tougher end, the Stevenage aim, so I would say that was higher!”
Whereas his present aspect are caught up in a promotion push, McAtee’s father or mother membership are quietly proving many doubters improper of their maiden Premier League marketing campaign by already attaining historic outcomes to this point this season.
The 1-0 victory towards Newcastle and a frantic 1-1 draw towards Liverpool have been specific highlights for the Hatters.
“I’ve watched as many video games as I may, and I have been so impressed, however on the identical time I clearly did pre-season with them, and I knew they have been going to be there or thereabouts.
“I’ve obtained my fingers crossed for them and I am hoping they keep up!”
McAtee revealed his dream of competing towards his youthful brother James, who has commonly featured for Sheffield United within the Premier League this season.
The pair have performed competitively towards one another as soon as earlier than within the EFL Trophy, with John at Scunthorpe and James nonetheless growing in Manchester Metropolis’s youth squad respectively.
“That is the dream is not it! Possibly sooner or later we will play towards one another, we all the time stated that as children!”