hEAD coach Paul Heckingbottom has told Barnsley midfielder George Moncur he should not be downhearted despite his weekend demotion back to the bench after his recent mini renaissance.
The former Colchester player was handed his first Championship starts of the season in the games against Brighton and Aston Villa and produced encouraging performances in both.
But Moncur was an unused substitute in Saturday’s derby with Huddersfield Town, with fit-again Josh Scowen making an earlier than expected return from an ankle problem.
Heckingbottom has reassured Moncur, who has impressed with his attitude after pledging to knuckle down at Oakwell following an undistinguished loan spell in the first half of the season at Peterborough United, that future chances will arrive.
He also says that his two starts this month alongside a prominent appearance from the bench at Reading on February 11 represent substantive progress for a player whose Barnsley career appeared at a crossroads at the start of the new year – despite only joining last summer for £500,000.
Heckingbottom said: “I spoke to George and I have been really pleased with lots of things he has done. Like everyone else, everyone has got things that they need to improve on and they work on that. When George is back in, he will be doing it.
“I have said to George that from his perspective, four games ago for example, look how much the picture has changed.
“He has to keep doing that so that in four games’ time, it changes again. That is what everyone’s mentality has got to be.
Scowen came through Saturday’s derby unscathed and Heckingbottom was pleased with his display. He said: “He’s fine. We did have him training, so I knew he was going to be fit. I was pleased he could play and he performed well along with the others.”