MIDFIELD ace Giles Barnes is targeting more games and goals at Doncaster Rovers.
The former Premier League player opened his Rovers account in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Peterborough United. It was the 23-year-old’s first goal in three years.
“I’ve been waiting for a goal for a long time so I’m glad one came my way - it was just disappointing again that we conceded a late one,” he told The Star.
Barnes was recalled to the side the previous week at Elland Road to help ‘beef up’ the midfield.
“This year is the first time in my career that I’ve played as one of the bigger men in midfield but to be fair it worked,” he said.
“Leeds have got a big midfield but I thought it worked well against them; I thought we closed them down quickly and killed their tactics on the day.”
Barnes also caught the eye with some telling distribution, particularly in the second half, and deservedly kept his place in the side to face Posh.
But he claims that there is more to come if manager Dean Saunders keeps faith with him.
“I’m still not back where I want to be but I need a clear run in the team to achieve that,” he said.
“I came in earlier in the season and I think I played four games and then I missed a few games. Now I’ve come back into the team again, I’ve got to keep building on my own performances because I don’t want to come out of the team.
“The better I play the harder it will be for the manager to leave me out.
“It can be hard coming back into the team if you’ve been on the bench and haven’t played or left out of the squad altogether, but you just have to try and keep yourself in the right shape.
“Although nothing beats game-time, the harder you work in training the luckier you become.
“I play as a midfielder or an attacking midfielder it up to the gaffer. Wherever the gaffer wants to play me, I’m willing to play that role.
“At the moment he’s wanting me to be a proper central midfielder. When you play there, you have to do both sides of the game whereas when you are an attacking midfielder, you tend to concentrate more on that side.
“Sometimes I might take it too literally and just stay in front of the back four with Stocky [Brian Stock] and sort of sit in, but I’ve got more strings to my bow going forward and obviously if I can bring those skills out and help the team then I will.”
One thing Barnes is urging Rovers to do is to start holding on to leads.
He said: “We’ve got to get that winning mentality and make sure we shut up shop We’ve got to get that into our game. We should have beaten Leeds when 2-0 and if we had have hung on for a win on Saturday it would have been six great points instead of one and if we had done that you are looking at completely different kettle of fish.
“The results of the two games are very frustrating and we’ll be looking to get back to winning ways against Brighton on Saturday.
“But it’s not just Brighton. We are going to go into every game for the rest of the season looking to win it because at the end of the day we know we need points to stay up.”
Rovers youth team will play the Northern Area final of the Football Alliance Cup against Hull City at Cantley Park on Saturday, March 24 (11am).
The winners will be away to either Millwall or Exeter in the national final.
Mustapha Dumbuya missed out on an international debut after the Sierra Leone Football Association sent his flight tickets to Crystal Palace, where the full-back had a loan spell earlier in the campaign, by mistake. He will now have to wait until the summer to represent his country.