Conor guns for Reds top scorer Winnall

Conor Hourihane
Conor Hourihane

Midfield ace Conor Hourihane is hungry to finish as Barnsley’s leading scorer this season - and he’s making sure star striker Sam Winnall knows it.

Hourihane and Winnall have arguably been the Reds two most impressive performers this season, even though the likes of skipper Martin Cranie and Devante Cole have sparkled.

But with 11 and nine goals respectively, the club’s leading scorer Hourihane and deadly marksman Winnall have more often that not stolen the headlines in a topsy-turvy season thus far.

And with Winnall out with an unfortunate hamstring injury, Hourihane wants to give his good mate a target to chase when he comes back into the team.

“I’m tying to get as many goals as I can while he’s out,” joked Hourihane, with Winnall out with a hamstring injury until the New Year.

“The banter between me and Sam has eased down a little bit since he’s been injured, but I joke with him that he’s the one meant to be scoring the goals for us and not me.

“But hopefully we can have Sam back sooner rather than later for us because he’s an important player for us as the same time.”

Amazingly, Hourihane has played every minute of every game for Barnsley this season since signing a three-deal with the club in the summer.

And the ambitious 23-year-old, who has already played 27 times this term, hopes to keep banging in the goals with aspirations that the Reds can challenge for promotion this season.

“Touch wood I’ve had no injuries, so long may that continue,” said Hourihane, ahead of today’s Boxing Day away clash with Preston North End at Deepdale.

“The aim is to play as many games as you can, so hopefully I can keep doing that. Since I’ve signed for the club it’s gone well.”

Hourihane added: “We’ve not had some of the results we would have like in the last few weeks, but the last couple of results have been good and we need to build on that now.”

Irishman Hourihane tops the Oakwell scoring charts by goals over Winnall, with ten of those having been scored in the league.

But the Cork-born playmaker is still six goals adrift of Chesterfield’s Eoin Doyle, League One’s leading scorer, who has bagged 16 goals so far.

“It’s pleasing to have scored so many goals, but I’ve not really set myself any targets for the rest of the season,” stressed the former Plymouth Argyle skipper.

“I’d gone the last six games without a goal, which was frustrating, especially having scored so many in the early part of the season.

“But to score against Leyton Orient and get back to winning ways was very pleasing.”