AFTER spending Saturday afternoons earlier this season on his settee playing the FIFA football simulation game, Jabo Ibehere is glad to swap it for the real thing once again.
Out of favour virtually all season at Colchester after a fall-out with U’s chief Tony Humes, the striker is making the most of his lifeline up north at Barnsley under Lee Johnson, who also briefly signed him on loan earlier this term at Oldham.
Ibehre, 32, who has joined for the rest of the season, has quickly endeared himself to Reds fans with goals in successive games against Preston North End and Bristol City.
He is now seeking to follow up with another noteworthy goal against the Blades, while making the right headlines after being sent off at Bramall Lane for Oldham in November.
On a positive finish to a difficult season, Ibehre – who is ineligible for Monday’s game at parent club Colchester – said: “I am really pleased that I have scored some goals and come in and am part of a great dressing room.
“Everyone has made me feel really welcome and, hopefully, there will be a nice reward at the end.”
Specifically on those tough weekends earlier this season at Colchester, he added: “I can’t really discuss what was going on down there.
“All you want to do is play football and train in the week and play at the weekend. When you just train and train and train and know you are not going to play at the end, it does become difficult.
“I was getting good at FIFA! I had some Saturdays off and if they had away games and were travelling on a Friday, I would do some gym work in the mornings and then be watching the results coming through at home on a Saturday.
“That situation isn’t nice for anyone – especially when you train hard in the week and want to express yourself at the weekend and be part of something.
“I am happy now it is in the past and I can look forward and enjoy my football again.
“It’s a contrast for sure from a few months ago at Colchester. Now, suddenly, I could be in the play-offs. It’s a massive contrast.
“The recent run of form is great and we can’t ask for more. We just need to keep it going and everyone is quietly confident.”
“The defence has been playing magnificently and the team as a whole have been really good and confidence does breeds confidence.”