Barnsley captain Angus MacDonald is still paying the price for his red card in the South Yorkshire derby at Sheffield United.
The 24-year-old defender was sent off, along with Blades striker Leon Clarke, for an off-the-ball clash at Bramall Lane on August 19.
MacDonald was left kicking his heels in the stands as he served a three-game ban, and has not played in the Championship since.
In fact, his only first-team game in six weeks bizarrely came at Wembley, against Tottenham in the League Cup.
It’s not nice not to be playing, but at the end of the day it’s my own fault for getting sent off at Sheffield United.Barnsley’s Angus MacDonald
“I hate it, I have itchy feet and just want to get back out there and play,” MacDonald told The Yorkshire Post.
“It’s not nice not to be playing, but at the end of the day it’s my own fault for getting sent off at Sheffield United.
“Now I just have to get my head down and work hard to get back in the team.
“I never expected to come straight back in the team; those three games I was suspended for, the lads did very well.
“When I sat in the stand for those three games, you can see where things go wrong. You definitely get a new perspective.”
The captain’s armband, obviously, does not guarantee a starting role in Paul Heckingbottom’s side, with Liam Lindsay, Adam Jackson and Ethan Pinnock providing competition for the two centre-half spots.
“There’s no time for sulking, you just have to get on with it and encourage the boys to get three points,” said MacDonald.
“It’s a long season, so with injuries, dips in form, when I am called upon I need to be ready to do a job.”
The Reds have not won in their last four outings, but in the past week have conceded late goals against Wolverhampton (lost 2-1) and QPR (drew 1-1).
MacDonald believes Barnsley need to be “more street-wise”, starting with today’s trip to Millwall – a team they have beaten in their last four meetings.
He said: “It’s just that bit of luck, other teams getting that late goal against us in the last couple of games. We have to be a bit more street-wise and see games out when we are 1-0 up, or when we got it back to 1-1 at Wolves.
“Put the ball in the stands, waste 10 seconds. They were kicks in the teeth, but we have to do these things if we want to succeed in this league.”