Ryan Hedges has revealed how his rich vein of goal-scoring form is a direct result of the work he put in over the summer.
The 22-year-old budding Wales international has scored three goals in the opening four games of the season, including Barnsley’s match-winner against Nottingham Forest on Tuesday night.
That is in direct contrast to last term, when he failed to find the net in eight appearances after moving to Oakwell on the final day of the January transfer window.
He hopes this recent flurry of goals will lead to a regular spot in the Reds’ starting line-up.
“Throughout my career I have wanted to chip in with goals,” said the former Swansea winger.
“During the summer, I worked on finishing and I hope I am reaping the rewards. I have a lot more confidence now.
“There are still a lot of things for me to work on and, hopefully, I will get better and better.
“I have been really happy with how I have performed and playing regularly is really helping me. Hopefully, I can make that starting spot my own.”
Hedges’ goal on Tuesday night earned Barnsley their first points of the season, momentum they will look to build on this lunchtime at Bramall Lane, a venue that has proven a happy hunting ground in recent times for the Reds.
“This will be the biggest derby I have played in,” said Hedges.
“It’s going to be a big one for the fans and, hopefully, we can get the right result and put on a performance for them.
“The three points on Tuesday have given us the confidence boost we needed and, hopefully, we can build on that now.”
Barnsley are unbeaten on their last four visits to Bramall Lane and head coach Paul Heckingbottom is relishing the prospect.
“We loved the derbies last season whoever we played. They are my favourite games,” he said.