Signed in the summer on a season-long loan deal from Premier League giants Liverpool, Kent has been a regular fixture in Paul Heckingbottom’s side in the Championship so far this season and he spoke today about what he’s taking out of the move and why he feels Oakwell is the right place for him at this stage in his career.
He said: “I’m really enjoying my time here at Barnsley. It’s a Club that can give me an opportunity to play in the Championship and challenge myself, up against some top teams with top players and give myself a chance to show what I’m really capable of.
“It’s a lot more difficult to play in this division than it would be for me to be back in Liverpool playing in the U23s or whatever. It’s a lot more physical, more demanding and the players in the league are much tougher. It’s a challenge in my career that I’m relishing. Barnsley are giving me everything that I need to get to that next level, they’re really helping me in my career and I’m hopefully helping them in the process. That’s my focus right now, helping this Club push to the top of the division.”
The 19-year-old winger believes that the youthful nature of Heckingbottom’s squad is a key factor in the success of the Club this year and he explained that having players who have similar interests creates a good team-spirit.
“There’s great chemistry in the team” he said. “We’ve a lot of young players who are all wanting to go in the right direction. Everyone’s on the same wavelength. I think the young nature of the squad makes us different from any other team in the league, I think that’s why we’re doing so well. There’s real diversity in the side, fresh legs.
“I think if you look at the way we’ve used our subs effectively this season, it shows that. There’s a lot of depth to the squad and goals throughout the team.”
Despite being pleased with his start to the season, Ryan still thinks the best is yet to come for him in a Reds shirt. He’s been happy with his performances but feels one thing is lacking from his game.
“I need to improve in terms of my numbers, an end-product” he explained. “I feel my performance levels have been good, but there’s nothing much to show for it at the moment. In the last year or so both here and at Coventry on loan last season, it’s clear I need to improve my end-product. I need to add numbers to my game.
“Assists, goals, it’s a key area for a forward player. It’s what keeps you in teams, it’s what managers want from you. It’s something I need to improve. And I’m working really hard on the training field to get better.”
Turning his attention to the weekend’s trip to Burton Albion, Ryan was clear that the squad and ‘Hecky’ have been doing their homework as ever on the opposition and that the Reds head into the game with plenty of confidence and self-belief.
“We’ve already matched some of the best sides in the league, so coming into these games against sides below us we need to be looking at taking the three points. We’re confident of doing so. In terms of Burton we’ll be doing our analysis on them, but at the end of the day the boys are more concerned about how we’re doing. If we are on our game then I’m sure we’ll come out on top.”
You can watch the full press conference with Ryan Kent above!
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